The Met Office has issued an amber ‘be aware’ national severe weather warning for Storm Doris which has today lashed the UK.
The Met Office has updated the warning after the storm has ‘rapidly deepened’ after under-going what it called explosive cyclogenisis.
One lady has been killed by falling debris in Wolverhampton, West Midlands, with police pronouncing her dead at the scene.
Many more people have been injured by falling trees and debris after record winds hit 94mph.
Homes in Northern Ireland have been badly hit with emergency crews continuing to work on repairs to power cuts which have affected more than 2,700 houses after overhead power lines were thrashed.
Reports suggest the weather is moving East, with a yellow weather warning of ice and 1-3cm of snow for tomorrow (Friday February 24) on higher ground and the far north of Scotland.
No flood warnings have been issued.
The Met Office chief forecaster said: “There is still some uncertainty about the track of storm Doris, but increasing confidence that there will be widespread disruption across parts of England and Wales.”
Capel Curig: 94 mph
High Bradfield: 87 mph
Needles: 82 mph
Weybourne: 81 mph
Farmers Weather expert Garry Nicholson added: “The worst of Storm Doris is now moving quickly away into Europe.
“Friday will be a much better day for all regions, with lighter winds and some sunshine.
“Flooding is possible in Cumbria and western Scotland over the weekend, where over 100mm of rain is possible over 48 hours. Snow will melt in Scotland, enhancing risk of flooding locally.”
With winds set to hit 80mph in northern England and Wales, farmers and those in the countryside have been urged to prepare for winter’s worst storm so far.
NFU Mutual has issued a ‘storm checklist’ to help those likely to be hit by the extreme weather prepare for the likelihood of damage.
Tim Price, NFU Mutual rural affairs specialist said: “Rural areas can be prone to power cuts with lines brought down by high winds and fallen trees.
“It is important that people are prepared if severe weather strikes and our priority is to provide immediate, practical assistance to our customers.”
Heavy snow across Scotland and the north of England six years ago led to hundreds of farm building roofs collapsing and many claims for burst pipe damage in homes and commercial buildings.
The extreme weather of storms Desmond, Eva and Frank, peaked at £50 million in claims to NFU Mutual alone.
Doris is the latest storm following Angus in November and Barbara and Conor in December.
Tim Price added: “We have revised our emergency claims plans so that we continue to get to policyholders quickly through our 300-strong network of agents in towns and villages across the UK.
“This means making significant interim payments as quickly as possible, helping arrange emergency accommodation and getting properties surveyed and repairs started without delay.”