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UK Weather: Hurricane-force 65mph winds wreak havoc for commuters with trains cancelled

Hurricane-force 65mph winds wreak havoc for commuters with trains cancelled, parks closed and the Severn Bridge closed, and more mayhem to come with snow heading north

Roads, train lines, parks and golf courses were closed today in southern England as 65mph winds blew, while the north and Scotland braced for more snow.

London’s green spaces, including Highgate Wood, Queen’s Park and Hampstead Heath playgrounds, have been closed for safety reasons.

The Met Office issued a yellow wind warning until 6pm today, covering the south and the Midlands, saying travel delays, tree damage and power outages were possible.

Separate snow and ice warnings were also in effect today, covering the north of England until 10am tomorrow and Scotland and Northern Ireland until 11am tomorrow.

Chiltern Railways said a tree was blocking the railway between north-west London and Marylebone, causing train cancellations and delays for morning commuters.

And LNER said a sheet of plastic caught on overhead power lines at the Newark North Gate meant the northbound line was blocked, which would delay trains in the area.

Great Northern said an object had become caught in overhead power cables between Potters Bar and Welwyn Garden City, disrupting its services.

In Scotland, ScotRail said there were emergency speed restrictions on the West Highland line until 6pm, which would affect journey times.

National Highways said the M48 Severn Bridge was closed in both directions due to high winds, while the A15 Humber Bridge was closed to high-sided vehicles.

LNER said this morning that a sheet of plastic caught on overhead power cables at Newark North Gate meant the northbound line was blocked, which would delay trains in the area.

The wind advisory for southern England stated: “Strong and gusty winds from the southwest may cause some disruption, particularly for high-sided vehicles prone to.”

Forecasters said high-sided vehicle delays on exposed routes and bridges were “likely,” and some short-term loss of power and other services was “possible.”

They added that transport delays by road, rail, air and ferry were “likely” and damage to trees is also “likely”, while bus and train services will “probably” be affected.

Southwesterly winds will gust to 50-55 mph with gusts to 60-65 mph over some exposed coastlines and foothills today.

Forecasters said the highest gusts were expected between mid-morning and mid-afternoon.

Snow and ice warnings for the north and Scotland warn of disruption to travel and infrastructure, with a band gradually turning to snow from the north through this morning.

It will initially be above 200 m (650 ft), but later at lower levels. Up to 4 cm (1.6 in) of snow is possible above 200 m and up to 10 cm (4 in) above 300 m.

Forecasters said about 0.8 inches (2 cm) may develop locally at the lowest levels overnight, before rain and snow clear to the south of the area tonight.

Occasional snow showers will then follow across the north and west of Scotland this afternoon and tonight, delivering about 2cm (0.8in) of snow in places.

Arctic temperatures over the past few days were replaced yesterday by highs of 14.6°C (58.3°F) at Northolt, west London, although the low was -8.4°C (16.7 °F) in Baltasound, on the island of Unst, in Shetland.

Temperatures fell as low as -15.7 °C (3.7 °F) in Altnaharra in the Highlands on Saturday, while the highest temperature that day of 12.9 °C (55.2 °F) was recorded in St Marys Airport in the Isles of Scilly.

The Met Office issued yellow warnings covering large parts of the country last week as Storm Larisa battered parts of the UK with gales and snowstorms.

Drivers were urged to get behind the wheel only if necessary, and some motorists were stranded due to heavy snowfall.

In north Wales, two families of hikers had to be rescued after bad weather caught up with them on Saturday.

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