Gusts near 100mph as Storm Arwen batters UK, as man dies after his car is hit by a falling tree

Gusts near 100mph as Storm Arwen batters UK, as man dies after his car is hit by a falling tree

A man has died after his car was hit by a falling tree in Northern Ireland as Storm Arwen batters the UK with strong winds.

The incident happened in Antrim on Friday, with police closing off the road in both directions.

Gusts of almost 100mph have been reported in some areas – and the Met Office says speeds hit 98mph at Brizlee Wood in Northumberland.

Image was taken in Aberdeen. Pic @terrycharleton/Twitter
Image: Debris left as storm Arwen hit Aberdeen Aberdeen. Pic @terrycharleton/Twitter

A rare, red “danger to life” weather warning expired in the early hours of this morning – but amber and yellow warnings for wind remain in place across large swathes of the UK.

The amber warnings covering northeast coasts of England and Scotland, and the southwest coasts of England and Wales, will expire at 9am this morning. A further yellow warning applies to most of the UK until 6pm tonight.

Britons are still being advised to only travel if absolutely necessary, with the Met Office describing the gusts overnight as “damaging”.

Roads were closed by fallen debris in the worst-hit parts of Scotland, while LNER train services north of Newcastle were also ground to a halt, with high winds, heavy rain and snowfall arriving from Friday afternoon.

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Cold weather is expected in the North East, North West, Yorkshire, the West Midlands and the East Midlands until Monday.

Picture of snowfall, taken at 5:30pm in Leadgate, County Durham @ToonArmyOfOne - UGC hasn't asked for credit
Image: Picture of snowfall, taken at 5:30pm in Leadgate, County Durham

Friday night’s rugby union Premiership game between Newcastle Falcons and Worcester Warriors was postponed until Saturday evening due to safety concerns.

And in North Wales, ITV abandoned plans for a live episode of I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! from Gwrych Castle – with Ant and Dec pre-recording their parts of the programme instead.

Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service said it has been dealing with a “large” number of incidents including “fallen trees and roofs being blown off structures”.

Northern Powergrid said severe gales had caused power cuts for more than 55,000 customers, mainly in the Northumberland, County Durham and Tyne and Wear areas.

And North West Motorway Police said about 120 lorries were “stuck in the snow” on the M62 at junctions 21 and 22 and urged motorists to avoid the area.

Tweeting pictures of the motorway blanketed in white, they said snow ploughs had been deployed.

A Met Office statement said: “People should stay away from the coast as waves and debris are a danger to life.”

Arwen is the first named storm of the 2021/2022 season – which started in September.

It is expected to move across the North Sea and into Europe by Sunday.