Page last updated at 23:08 GMT, Saturday, 21 June 2008 00:08 UK

'Rare' gales set to hit Britain

Man struggling with umbrella
The gales are expected to hit across the UK

People across the UK are being warned to brace themselves for unusually stormy weather as high winds and heavy rain are forecast for Sunday.

The storms - with winds which could reach 65mph across parts of Britain - are expected to peak at about midday.

The worst affected areas are expected to be north Wales and northern England, but Northern Ireland and southern Scotland may also be affected.

BBC forecaster Tomasz Schafernaker said the weather was abnormal for June.

It is more likely to be the sort of weather that is seen in the autumn.

"Although it's not unusual to have this kind of weather during the winter it's rare to see this kind of gale this time of year," he said.

The gale will be concentrated in the north but do expect a windy day for everybody right across the UK
Tomasz Schafernaker
BBC weather forecaster

"The vicious gusts of wind will not only be reserved to coastal districts but may happen further inland too.

"Cities such as Manchester and Leeds are in the path of the heavy weather," Mr Schafernaker said.

"Irish Sea coasts will be affected with heavy waves and Blackpool's Pleasure Beach may be not so pleasurable."

Strong gusts are also expected as far south as the Bristol channel, Wales, the Midlands and parts of East Anglia.

The BBC forecaster has also warned of potential travel problems.

"With the trees in full leaf, as the high winds blow through, they are liable to pull branches down.

"This could lead to problems on roads and rail with lying branches and even trees. The gale will be concentrated in the north but do expect a windy day for everybody right across the UK."

On a brighter note, he said, the weather was set improve.

"Looking forward to next week's Wimbledon, things will become more settled and warmer," he added.



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