Calm before the squall as Britain braces itself for Storm Barbara

A Ryanair plane arriving at Leeds Bradford Airport from Poland makes its way onto the runway in high winds as Storm Barbara hits the UK.
A Ryanair plane arriving at Leeds Bradford Airport from Poland makes its way onto the runway in high winds as Storm Barbara hits the UK.

Yorkshire is bracing itself for the force of Storm Barbara which is to bring blustering gales and heavy rain to the region today.

The worst of the weather is set to hit further north, with gusts of up to 90mph expected in parts of Scotland. But weather warnings are in place for the region, with high winds of up to 60mph or 70mph expected in Yorkshire where flood hit communities in Hebden Bridge were yesterday putting up temporary defences.

Temporary flood defences being put up at Riverside School in Hebden Bridge, as Britain braces itself for the arrival of Storm Barbara. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo.

Temporary flood defences being put up at Riverside School in Hebden Bridge, as Britain braces itself for the arrival of Storm Barbara. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo.

And with today expected to be a busy day ahead of the Christmas period, the Met Office has warned travellers to take care on the roads.

“It looks very much like it’s going to be hitting further north than Yorkshire - but the effects are going to be far reaching,” said Met Office spokesman Graham Madge. “The main impact will be in Scotland, but there are warnings out for northern England. In Yorkshire, there are warnings in place from 7am until midnight. With gusts of that strength we could even expect potential structural damage. And, with it being the Christmas period, people can expect some travel disruption. We are asking people to consider that when planning their journey.”

Councils were said to be “fully prepared” for the onset of harsh conditions over Christmas.

The Local Government Association (LGA) said it was issuing renewed advice on how to deal with flash floods and has stockpiled more than one million tonnes of salt to grit roads.

Environment spokesman Martin Tett said: “Councils are fully prepared to protect residents and minimise disruption caused by Storm Barbara and other potential bad weather such as snow and flooding. Council staff will be out in force clearing roads of any debris and damage.”

Heavy rain is expected this afternoon until around 4pm, clearing into the early evening.

While Christmas Eve is set to be a quieter day, further weather warnings are in place for Christmas Day, with gusts expected of up to 50 or 60mph.

“Barbara is a main storm,” said Mr Madge. “People should certainly be aware, and factor that into their travel plans.”