STORM Hector has sent huge waves smashing into the coastline as the 70mph winds rage across the UK.
The first storm of the Summer season crossed from Ireland overnight and is set to tear across the UK with a weather warning in place until this afternoon.
Alamy Live News Waves whip up in Aberstwyth. Storm Hector is set to tear across the UK today
Meteorologist Claire Nasir said: “Storm Hector is continuing to cast its mark across the northern Britain today, with some damaging gusts up to 55mph with some heavy showers to come, but some brighter weather through the south as we head through this afternoon.
“A yellow weather warning is still in force anywhere from Yorkshire northwards through this afternoon, probably up until 3pm.
She added: “Some heavy showers and rain across the northern isles and these strong winds, with the risk of some damage as gusts pick up too.”
She said it would be a “slow process” of the winds easing overnight, with gales continuing through the evening.
North News and Pictures Steve Lamb, owner of Doe Park Caravan Park, in Teesdale, County Durham, try to rescue caravan awnings which have been torn part by gale force winds as Storm Hector sweeps across Britain today
There will be some brighter weather through the southeast of the country later today, with some showers moving in from the west overnight.
Through Friday, there will be continued sunshine with “quite fresh” conditions through the north of the UK, she said, with some bands of showers throughout the afternoon, with some moving further south.
Temperatures should be between 18-21 degrees in the south, with fresh temperatures of 13 degrees across the north, she said.
A gust of 74mph in Orlock Head, Northern Ireland, broke the June record for a gust in Ireland, the Met Office said.
Alamy Live News Waves crash off Aberystwyth, Wales as Storm Hector rages on
Fallen trees across Scotland and Northern Ireland caused travel problems.
ScotRail said “chainsaw gangs” and overhead line teams have been deployed across the rail network to remove trees and branches that caused delays and cancellations to services.
In England, police closed the Tees flyover to high-sided vehicles and the Shields Ferry across the Tyne was not operating.
But the gusts were not all bad news, as official figures showed that in the 30 minutes before 10am on Thursday, 34.5 per cent of Britain’s electricity came from wind – far higher than the 6% recorded on previous, calmer days.
Alamy Live News Windy weather as Storm Hector roughens up the sea this morning at Aberaeron in mid Wales
Much of Britain is covered by a yellow warning, but the north and west of Northern Ireland – which will see the first winds hit in the early hours of Thursday – is now subject to a more serious amber warning.
The Met Office said injuries and a danger to life is “likely” in coastal areas in Northern Ireland, with the chance of large waves and potential for beach debris to end up on roads, sea fronts and properties.
People have been advised to take care during rush hour with potential disruption due to fallen trees and the possibility that outdoor summer furniture will have been blown around overnight.
Humberside Police said a 40mph speed restriction had been placed on the Ouse Bridge in Goole due to the weather.
Mercury Press A plane struggles to land at Leeds Bradford airport
Mercury Press The planes struggled as they were battered by gusts of wind
Nicky Maxey, of the Met Office, said records could be broken in Scotland as Storm Hector crosses over from Ireland.
The storm brought heavy rain to parts of Cumbria with 3.2in falling, and 5.1in in the Isle of Skye over the past 24 hours.
Further south in England, there will be blustery conditions but not the strong gusts experienced in the north.
A much weaker weather front was due to follow after Storm Hector passed out into the North Sea, bringing much more typical June weather with showers and bright spells.
Meteorologist Alex Deakin explains the impact Storm Hector may have on the UK
The outlook for Saturday is similar, with the possibility of thunder while Sunday is expected to be the best day of the weekend, being drier with hazy sunshine.
Yesterday, the Met Office released a “danger to life” warning and have told Brits to watch out for flying debris in the wild weather today.
It is the first time a summer storm has been named since a new system was introduced last year which stated storms would be given names all year round.
Speaking to The Sun Online, the Met Office’s Nicola Maxey said the heavy gusts of wind was unusual for this time of year, with people potentially not as ready for wild conditions as they normally would during winter.
Met Office publishes latest satellite imagery showing Storm Hector heading eastwards bringing rain and unseasonably strong winds
She said: “It’s the time of year where lots of people will have kids paddling pools in the garden, and garden chairs which are quite light – all that paraphernalia in the garden.
“The warning is important to let people know that strong winds are coming and they need to make sure everything is secure.”
She added: “The other issue is that trees are in lead and it is more likely that the winds will pull the branches down.”
Coastguards have already issued warnings for affected areas, with strong waves expected to batter the coastline.
The Irish Meteorological Service released an orange warning for must of the north west
The strongest winds will reach the west coast during the early hours before spreading eastwards during the day
SWNS:South West News Service The sun rises over a poppy field in Kingswinford, West Midlands, yesterday
She said the unusual weather for this year was down to a low pressure system pushing its way from across the Atlantic.
The Met Office released a yellow warning, saying: “The strongest winds will reach the west coast during the early hours of Thursday before spreading eastwards during the day.”
The yellow weather warning states that the risk of travel disruption and damage to building is low.