A massive storm dubbed “St. Jude” on local media is threatening Britain. The storm, which should hit on Monday, is expected to disrupt road, rail, and airport networks as it strikes the southern half of Britain during rush-hour.
St. Jude is the patron saint of lost causes and is usually celebrated on October 28. British Prime Minister chaired an emergency planning meeting on Sunday as Britons were urged to prepare for high winds and torrential rain.
Forecasters warned that the hurricane-strength storm could cause major damage as it brings winds of up to 80 mph across the southern half of the country, reports USA Today.
Cameron sent a tweet out on Sunday, saying he held the call so he will be informed by “various Govt depts & agencies to hear all about the plans to ensure people are protected.”
The St. Jude storm is an intense low pressure system and is expected to start hammering parts of Britain’s coast starting late Sunday local time. Forecasters predict that the storm will strengthen overnight and into Monday before it tapers off. Heavy rains and surface water floods are expected to go with the high winds.
Reuters notes that local media compared the St. Jude storm to 1987, when a storm killed 18 people in Britain and caused some 15 million trees to fall over. However, this time Britons are prepared for the storm, and were urged on Sunday to seek shelter and stay out of harm’s way while the storm runs its course.
Met Office spokeswoman Helene Chivers commented that the storm “is developing as it crosses the UK, which is why it brings the potential for significant disruption.. and that doesn’t happen very often.”
Normally, storms that strike Britain form over the Atlantic and are already at full strength or past it when by the time they hit the country. For the St. Jude storm, that won’t be the case. Advances in weather forecasting technology helped predict the storm, allowing discussions and preparations to begin early last week.
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