Storm Arwen: East of England could be hit by 70mph gusts and snow

Rain and snow as well as gusts of up to 60-70mph will hit the East of England this weekend as the season’s first named storm blows in.

Storm Arwen is expected to lead to disruption across the region, causing dangerous conditions on the road, and the potential for damage and power cuts.

The Met Office has issued a yellow wind for most of the UK on Saturday as well as numerous snow warnings, one of which is across the East of England. There are more severe amber and red warnings for the worst-affected areas in north-east England from Friday.

In the East of England, the strong winds on Friday night into Saturday will bring a wintry mix of rain, sleet and hail and could result in localised snow in parts, with big waves and large swells along the coast.

There are two Met Office weather warnings for the Anglia region - a snow warning in the west and a windy warning for much of the region Credit: Met Office

The snow warning will affect parts of Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire, Luton and Peterborough. The chief forecaster from the Met Office said: "There is a chance of 2-5 cm of snow falling in some locations and perhaps up to 8 cm over some of the higher ground above 150-200m."

The disruption is likely to be short lived with any snow melting during the morning. The most likely outcome is that most places will see rain with only a little sleet or snow in the heaviest bursts.

Motorists have been advised to avoid travelling unless absolutely necessary and visibility will quickly deteriorate in any rain and snow. Surface spray will also be an issue.

The Met Office yellow weather warning will be in place for parts of the Anglia region through the early hours of Saturday morning until 6pm.

'Weather could catch people off-guard'

ITV News Anglia weather presenter and meteorologist Aisling Creevey said people should prepare themselves for the change in the weather. It is the first proper winter storm.

“The winds will be strong - 55-60mph along the coast and 40-50 mph inland - but it is the frequency of the gusts that is the most notable feature," she said. "It is also worth saying that initially across Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex the winds will be very quiet first thing in the morning before very quickly changing to strong and icy cold winds.

“There is the real likelihood of seeing snow mixed in with the rain and while it is not expected to settle for any lengthy of time this brings other problems reducing visibility very suddenly. This can be very hazardous on the roads."

She added: "It's one of those times when if you don't have to travel we would advise you not to. This weekend is also when many of us are thinking about putting up outdoor lights or visiting markets in temporary structures.

"It's worth thinking about holding off until Sunday when the weather will be quieter and less windy.

"It's been so mild recently so, by comparison, this will be extremely unsettled weather. We are not used to it and it might catch some people off-guard."

Met Office snow warning

The yellow weather warning for snow in western parts of the Anglia region will be in force from midnight until 10am on Saturday 27 November 2021

The Met Office weather warning says: "Whilst most areas will see spells of rain there is a small chance of this turning to snow on Saturday morning leading to some disruption."

  • There is a small chance of travel delays on roads with some stranded vehicles and passengers, along with delayed or cancelled rail and air travel

  • There is a slight chance that some rural communities could become cut off

  • There is a small chance that power cuts will occur and other services, such as mobile phone coverage, may be affected

The Met Office warning added: "An area of rain will move southwards across central, southern and southeast England on Saturday morning.

"Whilst this is expected to be mostly of rain there is a chance that this will turn to snow in places, even to low levels.

"The most likely outcome is that most places will see rain with only a little sleet or snow in the heaviest bursts."

Met Office Wind Warning: What to expect

  • Injuries and danger to life from flying debris are possible

  • Some damage to trees, temporary structures and buildings, such as tiles blown from roofs, could happen

  • Road, rail, air and ferry services may be affected, with longer journey times and cancellations possible

  • Some roads and bridges may close

  • Power cuts may occur, with the potential to affect other services, such as mobile phone coverage

  • Injuries and danger to life could occur from large waves and beach material being thrown onto sea fronts, coastal roads and properties

The calm before the storm: a wet start to Friday at Harlestone in Northamptonshire Credit: uWhoAndyR

Driving advice

The RAC has advised drivers to prepare for strong gusts by slowing down and being "very careful" when passing high-sided vehicles or cyclists.

Spokesman Simon Williams said: "The settled weather being experienced by much of the country will end abruptly with the arrival of Storm Arwen, and will lead to some really challenging driving conditions.

"High winds can seriously affect vehicle handling, so drivers need to make sure that strong gusts don’t take them by surprise.

"In extreme windy conditions, bridges may also be closed and trees may fall so it's important to allow extra time for journeys."