Storm Otto smashes into UK with 75mph winds and heavy rains

Storm Otto is battering parts of the UK with heavy downpours and winds in excess of 75mph.

The first named storm of the season began moving east across the far north of the UK from the early hours of Friday morning.

The Met Office has said the high winds will mean travel disruption and possible damage to buildings in places and warned the drivers of high-sided vehicles to be careful.

It said there is also a danger of large waves on the North Sea coast ‘as well as a chance of some damage to buildings and infrastructure’.

Yellow weather warnings for wind have been issued for the whole of Scotland and a stretch of north and north-east England running from Sheffield to the Scottish border.

The detailed warning for Scotland explains that there could be ‘injuries and danger to life from flying debris’ and ‘some damage to buildings, such as tiles blown from roofs’.

The warning for Scotland runs from 3am to 3pm Friday and the north-east England warning is from 5am to 2pm.

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Met Office chief meteorologist Andy Page said: ‘Storm Otto will bring high winds and rain to the UK, with some northern parts of Scotland and the north-east of England likely to get the strongest gusts of wind, possibly in excess of 75mph. Warnings have been issued and could be updated as Storm Otto develops.

‘There’s a chance of travel disruption and high-sided vehicles could be particularly prone to disrupted plans in this set-up.

‘There’s associated rain with Storm Otto, with 40-50mm of rain likely to fall over parts of western Scotland.’

TransPennine Express has warned customers to check their route before they travel, adding that trains between Berwick-upon-Tweed and Edinburgh will move at reduced speeds in response to the weather.

ScotRail said on Twitter: ‘With very windy weather on the way, if you live by the railway please secure your garden furniture and items such as trampolines, to avoid them blowing onto tracks and disrupting services.’

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Denmark is expected to bear the brunt of the storm on Friday afternoon, leading the Danes to name the system, which has now been adopted by the Met Office in line with the international storm-naming arrangements.

Otto is the first named storm to directly impact the UK this storm-naming season, which began in September.

The first storm named by the Met Office, or the Irish and Dutch weather services this season will still be Storm Antoni, in accordance with the 2022/23 storm name list.

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