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Flood and weather warnings stay in place as 'Storm Lorenzo' heads for UK

Weather warnings remain in place. Credit: PA

Flood and weather warnings remained in place on Thursday as 'Storm Lorenzo' made its way towards the UK.

While parts of England, Scotland and Wales got off to a cold but dry start, the Met Office warned of strong winds and rain later in the day.

A yellow weather warning is in place for Northern Ireland between 3pm and 10pm as gusts could reach up to 60mph in coastal areas.

The Met Office said wind and rain will begin to develop over Northern Ireland, south-west Scotland, Wales and western and central England on Thursday afternoon.

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As of 8.30am on Thursday, the Environment Agency had 11 flood warnings and 44 flood alerts in place for England, mostly for the West Midlands, the North West and North East.

The American-named Storm Lorenzo will contain the remnants of Hurricane Lorenzo, which has been moving north-east through the northern Atlantic, passing close to the Azores.

Met Office chief meteorologist Andy Page said: “By the time Storm Lorenzo reaches our latitudes, it will be a low-pressure system that we’re accustomed to seeing at this time of year, but our partner, Met Eireann, is expecting impacts from the strong winds and heavy rain to affect the Republic of Ireland.

“Across much of the rest of the UK we’re anticipating the impacts will be minimal, but we have issued yellow wind warnings for Northern Ireland and parts of south-west England and South Wales.

Where did the name 'Storm Lorenzo' come from? ITV Weather Presenter Lucy Verasamy explains.

Lorenzo - named by the National Hurricane Centre last week - was the most easterly positioned Category 5 Hurricane on record.

Once storms (or low pressure systems) in the Atlantic reach a certain threshold or intensity they are named by the National Hurricane centre in the US - initially as a Tropical Storm and if winds continue to strengthen, is declared a Hurricane, whereby there are five Categories depending on wind speed.

Usually such storms track north-westwards towards the Caribbean and south-eastern states of the US. Lorenzo took a more unusual track north-eastwards into the mid Atlantic, Cape Verde and the Azores and on it's journey towards western Europe over cooler waters, started to lose its strength and intensity and weaken.

It remains named 'Storm Lorenzo' by Met EireAnn (the Irish Met Office) as Ireland will see the biggest impact from gales and damaging gusts of winds of 50-60mph today. Northern Ireland will also be exposed to gales and strong gusts with the windy conditions transferring into western Britain this evening and tonight - bringing the addition of some heavy steady rain.

For many, however, we had stronger winds and heavier rain earlier this week - hence not being named by our UK Met Office. This storm was very much an Atlantic storm system (meaning the US takes charge of naming) that has taken an uncommon track.

With high amounts of rainfall in the UK to start the week - the rain expected in the next 24-48 hours will exacerbate the flood risk in many sensitive areas, with the Environment Agency currently having 10 flood warnings in place.

There were more serene scenes as the sun rose behind MediaCity in Manchester on Thursday. Credit: Peter Byrne/PA

Weather warning in Ireland

Met Eireann, the Republic of Ireland’s national weather service, has issued a Status Orange warning for Galway, Mayo, Clare, Kerry and Limerick between 6pm on Thursday and 3am on Friday.

It warns that gusts from Storm Lorenzo could reach 75mph in coastal regions.

The Met Office’s yellow warning for south-west Wales and England remains in place between 4am and 4pm on Friday.

It states that inland gusts could reach 55mph, while coastal areas could be hit by up to 60mph winds.

Later on Friday however the wind is expected to have died down as the weather system finally clears to the south of the UK.

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Temperatures will begin to cool in northern parts of the UK, falling to single figures in Scotland and and dipping as low as 6C (42.8F) in Newcastle.

The Met said the rest of the weekend will be “changeable” as Saturday will see another band of rain moving in from the west.

Sunday is expected to be brighter in many central parts of the UK, and may see temperatures of 18C (64.4F) or 19C (66.2F) before the rain turns heavy again overnight.

Further rain is expected across the North East of England and Scotland.