East Anglia: Weather experts step up warning for ‘St Jude’s Storm’

Windy weather

Windy weather - Credit: PA

Weather experts have extended warnings of a fierce storm approaching the region - with fears that gusts of between 60 and 80mph could bring down trees, cause power cuts and lead to travel chaos.

The clear warning from forecasters comes as East Anglia braces itself for possibly the worst weather since the Great Storm of 1987.

The Met Office is currently on ‘amber alert’ as of severe weather is predicted to reach the east coast by Sunday evening. That means people should “be prepared” for unusually fierce gales and heavy rain.

It is being coined the St Jude Storm after the patron saint of lost causes whose feast day is celebrated on Monday, October 28.

Rail passengers have been told to keep a close eye on the latest live information about their journey prior to setting out on Monday morning.

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Greater Anglia said it was working with Network Rail to ensure its plans are updated online. It said any customers with advance purchase tickets booked for Monday will be able to travel on Sunday.

As a deep depression moves in from the Atlantic, forecasters have warned that coastal areas and exposed regions such as Orford Ness and Wattisham Airfield could expect to be battered by winds gusting up to 70mph.

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Steve Western, lead forecaster for Weatherquest said the storm was brewing up over the Azores before heading towards Britain.

“At the moment we’re still not 100% sure it will occur but it looks as if we are likely to have a deep depression tracking across the British Isles up the Bristol Channel, towards the Humber Estuary, with strong south easterly winds.”

If the depression developing in the North Atlantic takes hold as feared, Mr Western predicts near gale to gale force winds reaching 60mph to hit East Anglia on Sunday night through Monday morning.

But while some are warning of the worst storms in a quarter of a century, Mr Western stressed it is a “fast moving feature”, which may take a more southerly path over mainland Europe.

Eddy Carroll, chief forecaster at the Met Office, said yesterday: “This storm doesn’t exist at the moment, but our forecasts models predict it is likely to develop in the west Atlantic on Saturday.

“Then it’s likely to rapidly intensify just west of the UK late on Sunday before tracking across England and Wales early on Monday.

“There is still a chance this storm may take a more southerly track and miss the UK, bringing impacts elsewhere in northern Europe, but people should be aware there is a risk of severe weather and significant disruption.

“With that in mind, people should keep up to date with and act on the advice in our forecasts and warnings as the situation develops.”

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