Storm Isha: UK weather maps turn blue and orange as rare ‘freezing rain’ to batter Britain | Weather | News

January 20, 2024
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Britons should prepare for some unusual and severe weather phenomena as the bitter chill ebbs, new weather maps have suggested.

Storm Isha has officially been named, with the predicting gale force winds and heavy rain for much of the UK.

Flashes of blue and orange have appeared on charts highlighting the added potential of “freezing rain”, a midwinter phenomenon where ice-cold rain freezes the surfaces on which it falls.

Short-lived freezing rain showers could fall over parts of the country already coated in snow next week, maps suggest.

For other regions, the dry spells sparked by last week’s cold will subside, providing the first taste of rain in weeks.

Millions of Britons have felt that first band hit this evening, ahead of Isha’s arrival on Sunday, with the Met Office having issued yellow rain warnings for England and Scotland.

The day of warnings is the first of five this week, with 10 yellow and amber alerts in place over Isha’s dramatic arrival between 5pm on Saturday, January 20 to 12pm on Wednesday, January 24.

Freezing rain will arrive briefly on the tail end of that period on Tuesday, January 23 in Scotland, between 9am and 12pm, according to WXCharts.

The showers will fall primarily over the west coast, in the northwest and southwest highlands.

According to the Met Office, freezing rain is rare, as the conditions needed to create the phenomenon are “quite specific”.

While the forecasters have not issued any warnings for potential freezing rain, the agency describes the precipitation as potentially dangerous, as the weight of the ice can “sometimes be heavy enough to bring down trees and power lines”.

The rain can also cause surfaces to become iced over and slippery, and prove “extremely hazardous” for aircraft.

Should the freezing rain forecast prove accurate, the conditions will arrive as Isha wreaks havoc on the country.

Met Office chief Meteorologist, Dan Suri, has warned the storm will bring “strong winds to the whole of the UK through Sunday and into Monday”, with gale force winds and heavy rain on the cards this week.

Mr Suri said: “In these regions we could see gusts frequently between 50 to 60mph and even up to 80mph in exposed coastal locations. As the storm starts to move away on Monday morning very strong winds will also develop in the far southeast of England, bringing the risk of 70 to 80mph gusts here too in the early hours of Monday morning.

“Storm Isha will bring a disruptive spell of weather to the UK with strong winds across the whole country. Heavy rain will cause additional hazards, particularly in the west.

“A number of severe weather warnings for rain have also been issued. Keep up to date with the Met Office warnings and pay close attention to guidance from your local authority.”



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