Worst of Storm Deirdre weather out of the way, say forecasters

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The worst of the severe weather brought by Storm Deirdre is now “out of the way”, the Met Office has said.

Milder conditions are due to arrive for much of the UK on Sunday, with the majority of weather warnings being lifted.

Only one yellow warning of wind covering the Northern Isles is still in place, and is due to expire by midday.

The Met Office said nine-metre high waves coming in from the south east were going to affect the Shetlands.

It said it expected to formally announce the end of Storm Deirdre by Sunday afternoon.

Winter weather Dec 15th 2018
Freezing rain leaving a layer of ice on a branch near Settle in North Yorkshire (@RichardPeasland/PA)

In Scotland, where in some parts snow reached 50cm deep, thousands of homes lost power.

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) said it restored power to 15,000 homes in North Scotland.

On Sunday, it was working to reconnect 1,900 customers in Aberdeenshire and Perthshire.

Down in South Wales, Western Power Distribution said it fixed 15 faults for 3,500 customers over a 24- hour period.

A further 17 faults affecting 3,000 customers in the South West were also fixed.

Police forces across the country were left dealing with numerous reports of collisions triggered by icy conditions.

Officers in Devon, Cheshire, Cambridgeshire, Norfolk and Merseyside all tweeted to say they responded to incidents of fallen trees or traffic collisions.

Storm Deirdre’s arrival was also a blow to retailers on what should been a major pre-Christmas shopping day.

Saturday footfall across UK high streets was down by 9.1% by 3pm, retail intelligence firm Springboard reported.

Autumn weather Nov 27th 2018
Shoppers brave the rain as they make their way down the High Street in Winchester (Andrew Matthews/PA)

“The worst of the weather is certainly out of the way now,” he said.

“We should be out of the woods for warnings.

“The main message is for a lot of places it’s a marked improvement.

“If you were stuck inside yesterday you can dare to venture out.”

He said some showers were still expected in northern and western Scotland, the South West and Wales, but this was more “typical” winter winter.

Monday morning commuters should “keep an eye out” for lingering ice patches.

Unsettled conditions are forecast for the coming week.

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