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HURRICANE Katia is expected to batter the UK from tomorrow night with winds of up to 80mph and monster 50ft waves.
Savage gusts may be strong enough to uproot trees, create widespread travel chaos and cause major damage to buildings.
Met Office chiefs yesterday issued a rare extreme weather alert, warning of floods and “phenomenal” ocean conditions.
Katia, a Category 1 hurricane, had been expected to strike the US but has changed direction.
The 100-mile-wide storm was last night bearing down on Britain, with torrential rain and 90mph winds.
Experts predict there may only be a slight easing of the gusts before it crashes into the UK tomorrow night.
It is expected to be the fiercest storm to hit the country since Hurricane Gordon in 2006 and could last for several days.
Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales, North England and Cornwall and Devon were issued with the weather warnings yesterday.
And the Met Office said its extreme warnings could be upgraded today. The only areas of the UK not yet thought to be under threat are the Midlands and the South East.
A Met Office spokesman said: “The remains of Hurricane Katia are expected to come across the UK on Monday, bringing very windy weather.
“People should be aware of the risk of disruption to transport and the possibility of damage to trees and structures. There is uncertainty about its track and intensity and warning areas may be extended or upgraded.
“The best estimate is that northern and western parts are most at risk from very strong winds.
“But all areas could potentially see impacts of Katia, with wind gusts possibly up to 80mph.
“It is quite rare for us to be affected by a hurricane.
“It is maintaining a fair amount of its strength which is why we have issued weather warnings.”
Britain has already been hit by heavy rain and gale-force winds this week before Katia moved in across the Atlantic from the Caribbean.
Experts say the predicted high winds could coincide with high tides.
MeteoGroup UK forecaster Michael Dukes said: “Inevitably with the remnants of a tropical storm there will be a risk of flash flooding.
“The hurricane is moving slowly and predictions show it will hit North-West Scotland by Monday. The exact track of Katia is difficult to predict and it may change over the next few days.”
Read more: http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/top-stories/2011/09/10/hurricane-katia-heading-for-britain-with-winds-of-80mph-115875-23409116/#ixzz1XWLr6jcs
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