800-mile wide storm set to unleash ‘Nightmare before Christmas’ on Brits

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    A “Nightmare before Christmas” 800 mile-wide storm will hit the busiest travel days of the year with 70mph gales and washouts.

    The RAC issued a warning to travellers as the Met Office forecast “disruptive winds” and rain bursts on Thursday and Friday as millions travel to see loved ones. Saturday is also due some gusty winds, with more showers.

    Forecasters say 70mph gusts could hit northern England and 50mph in the Midlands. A Met Office forecaster said: “It will be generally windy throughout from Tuesday, with showers.

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    “From Thursday, a period of strong, potentially disruptive, winds is likely for at least central and northern parts of the country, with rainfall especially for the north and northwest. Into the Christmas period, there is an increased chance of a colder interlude with northerly winds bringing some snowfall and ice, especially for the north.”

    Netweather forecaster Nick Finnis said: “As a lot of people travelling before Christmas, there’s potential for disruptive or even severe gales. And, as cold polar air arrives afterwards, there’s also the threat of disruptive snow in the North, especially on higher ground.”

    Roads experts warned drivers to take extra care in the difficult conditions.

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    RAC spokesman Simon Williams said: “Strong winds and rain would be bad timing for the Christmas getaway. With many people travelling, debris and fallen trees could cause problems. Allow extra time for your journey and keep up to date with the forecast.

    "Drivers in the worst-affected areas will need to be on their guard for floods and standing water. From a road safety perspective, we urge drivers to slow down and leave plenty of stopping distance behind the vehicle in front.

    "It's also important to remember the risk of losing control due to aquaplaning, which is what happens when a layer of water gets between the tyres and the road surface, making it impossible to steer, brake or accelerate."

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    • Met Office
    • Christmas
    • UK Weather
    • Weather Forecast
    • Snow

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