Storm Katie to ruin Easter weekend with strong gales and downpours

Britain is set to be battered by a storm bringing strong winds and the threat of disruption to the end of the Easter weekend.

Saturday, 26th March 2016, 9:57 am
Updated Sunday, 27th March 2016, 2:01 pm
Storm Katie is set to swirl around the UK on Easter Monday, according to the Met Office.

Storm Katie is set to hit on Easter Monday with gales of up to 70mph, the Met Office said, bringing a risk of "fallen trees and disruption to power supplies" leading to travel disruption.

A national severe weather warning for strong winds has been issued for Monday, with southern England and South Wales likely to bear the brunt.

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Frank Saunders, the Met Office chief operational meteorologist, said there was "currently some uncertainty about the track that Storm Katie will take".

He said: "Southern England and south Wales will see very strong winds from the early hours of Monday morning.

"There is the potential for gusts of 50-60mph in inland areas. Exposed south and west-facing coasts could even see gusts of around 70mph, with the possibility of large waves.

"We expect the winds will start to ease in south-western Britain from mid morning, this improvement reaching other areas by late afternoon or early evening."

Hopes of spring weather over the Easter break have been washed away as Britain braces itself for a weekend of wind and rain.

People woke up to a fine and dry day on Good Friday, with London enjoying blue skies and bright sunshine - but that pleasant spell is set to change across the UK.

Bookmaker Coral has seen a flurry of bets for this Easter being the wettest since records began over the last 48 hours in which the firm has slashed the odds into 2-1 from 4-1.

A Coral spokesman said: "If the betting is anything to go by, it looks like it is going to be another damp bank holiday weekend. Punters have been knocking us over to back this Easter being the wettest on record and that gamble is showing no signs of stopping."

Egg hunts on Easter Sunday are set to be interrupted with heavy showers, strong winds, and maybe even thunder.

The rain will start in parts of Northern Ireland and Scotland overnight before becoming more widespread on Saturday with "heavy bursts" expected and most of the country likely to see rain, according to the Met Office..

Strong winds are set to make Saturday a blustery day, with gusts of 55mph expected in some areas, rising to 65mph in coastal areas.

The Met Office's yellow be aware warning of wind, which covers most of England and Wales but not Scotland and Northern Ireland, also advises the estimated six million people expected to travel over the weekend to be aware of possible disruption to their journeys.

Easter Sunday is forecast to be brighter, with some sunny spells, but the showers are set to continue, with potentially hail and thunder in some parts, the Met Office said.

Patricia Yates, VisitEngland's director of strategy and communications, said as many as six million people plan to take an overnight trip in the UK over the Easter weekend.