Storm Barra UK—where is it going to hit and how dangerous will it be?

Storm Barra is set to hit the UK bringing snow, high winds and more wintery conditions in its wake....

Storm Barra UK arrival as the snow arrives in Abington, Scotland.
(Image credit: Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

Storm Barra has arrived in the UK and as it prepares to sweep across the country just days after Storm Arwen hit, many will be anxiously wondering what could lie in store.

After a mild autumn the recent snow in the UK has signalled that winter is well and truly here and people will already be bringing out their warmest leggings and best winter boots as the countdown to Christmas continues. And it seems the recent icy conditions are set to stay, causing potential transport disruption as a new storm sweeps across the country. With Storm Arwen wreaking havoc across northerly areas just ten days ago, the announcement of Storm Barra’s UK arrival was likely met with trepidation by many Brits. Already multiple weather warnings have been issued spanning England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales, with snow, high winds and heavy rain expected over the coming days.

But where will Storm Barra hit the UK, how long will it last and what will it bring? We reveal all you need to know about the dangerous conditions coming our way...

Storm Barra UK coming just weeks after Storm Arwen hit, pictured here at Hartlepool

Storm Barra UK coming just weeks after Storm Arwen hit, pictured here at Hartlepool.

(Image credit: Photo by Jason Brown/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

When will Storm Barra hit the UK and where is it confirmed?

Those who’ve been anxiously wondering when Storm Barra will hit the UK won't be waiting for much longer, if at all. Anyone living in more northerly areas of the country such as Scotland and northern England might well have already started to see the arrival of more severe wintery conditions. Continuing on from the wet and windy weather on Monday, December 6th, Storm Barra officially arrived in the UK on Tuesday, December 7th.

According to the BBC (opens in new tab), those who live in Scotland, the North East of England and Cumbria might be some of the first to experience heavy snow and gale-force winds ahead of Storm Barra arriving in the UK. 

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But these aren’t the only areas who could be affected, with Pennine areas stretching through Yorkshire and the North West also covered by a yellow Met Office warning for snow. The wintery conditions of Storm Barra are also predicted to stretch further south, reaching Staffordshire.

Whilst further north in the UK, Scotland could be set to experience some of the worst conditions when Storm Barra hits the UK. Snow has already begun to fall in certain areas of Scotland, blanketing the M74, whilst the Highlands and Southern Uplands could both see particularly significant snowfall during Storm Barra.

Vehicles make their way along the M74 between Abiington and Beattock Summit on December 07, 2021 in Abington, Scotland

Storm Barra in the UK as vehicles make their way along the M74 in Scotland.

(Image credit: Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

Met Office Deputy Chief Meteorologist, Brent Walker has disclosed, “A band of rain will turn to snow across northern England and Scotland through Tuesday. Two to five cm of snow is expected to accumulate quite widely across the warning area, but locally this could reach ten cm, particularly in parts of the Southern Uplands and Highlands.”

“Strong south-easterly winds will also lead to snow drifting in places, particularly over the highest routes, adding to poor visibilities,” he added. 

The wind whips up the sea and creates a looming sky on New Brighton promenade, as the UK readies for the arrival of Storm Barra

Storm Barra set to arrive in the UK, with the wind whipping up the sea on New Brighton promenade,.

(Image credit: Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

Meanwhile, as reported by ITV (opens in new tab), Met Eireann has also issued a yellow warning for rain and rain in Northern Ireland for Antrim, Armagh, Down, Fermanagh, Tyrone and Derry. It’s thought that Storm Barra’s strong winds and heavy rain could be accompanied by travel disruption, as well as the potential for severe flooding.

In anticipation of the flooding around coastal areas, the Environment Agency has also issued several flood warnings for the south coast of England, as well as multiple flood alerts. 

How long will Storm Barra last in the UK?

With Storm Barra set to arrive in the UK on December 6th, there'll no doubt be many Brits already bringing out their best winter coats and hoping for the winds and snow to pass soon. The recent forecasts have suggested that Storm Barra could start to lessen by Wednesday December 7th. However, depending on the intensity of the conditions in your area, many people could continue to feel the effects of Storm Barra over the coming days as they continue to deal with snow, flooding or transport delays.

Gritting vehicles make their way through Crawford on December 07, 2021 in Abington, Scotland

Gritting vehicles make their way through Crawford on December 07, 2021 in Abington, Scotland as Storm Barra hits the UK.

(Image credit: Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

How strong will Storm Barra be and how will it affect the UK? 

Already a series of national severe weather warnings for snow and wind have been issued as Storm Barra hits the UK, with rain also expected to fall. The Met Office (opens in new tab) have also warned Brits to expect potential travel disruption, suggesting that coastal communities could be affected by huge waves and spray coming off the sea. Delays to rail, road, air and ocean travel are also thought extremely likely during Storm Barra. 

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Widespread gusts of up to 50 mph are expected, with coastal areas likely to see this increase to between 60-70 mph. Although this is still far higher than normal for much of the UK, it is far less than Storm Arwen which hit the UK with winds of almost 100mph just over a week ago. 

Storm Barra is forecast to move across the UK, with Met Office (opens in new tab) Chief Meteorologist Frank Saunders predicting that it will progress eastwards by the early evening. He revealed, “Strong winds arriving across the west through Tuesday morning, will spread inland and reach eastern areas through the afternoon and early evening."

Storm Barra UK arrives as homes still remain without electricity since Storm Arwen

Some homes still remain without electricity since Storm Arwen hit, as Storm Barra arrives in the UK.

(Image credit: Photo by Ian Forsyth/Getty Images)

"Gusts of 45-50 mph are expected widely, with 60-70 mph in exposed coastal locations. The strongest winds will ease across inland areas into the overnight period," Frank added.

The arrival of Storm Barra to the UK comes just 10 days after Storm Arwen causes chaos and endangered lives, with several people tragically killed during the storm and thousands of homes still left without power. Whilst Ireland, which was hit first by Storm Barra, has also experienced major power outages and those living in areas with red or orange warnings have been advised to avoid unnecessary travel.

In comparison, Storm Barra is not expected to be quite as severe in the UK, though it's still worth being cautious and prepared especially when travelling as the wind, rain and potential snow makes its way across the UK. 

Emma Shacklock

Emma is a Senior Lifestyle Writer with six years of experience working in digital publishing. Her specialist areas including literature, the British Royal Family and knowing all there is to know about the latest TV shows on the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and every streaming service out there. When she’s not writing about the next unmissable show to add to your to-watch list or delving into royal protocol, you can find Emma cooking and watching yet more crime dramas.