A mini tornado has ripped through Wales after the Met Office warned winds of up to 65mph would batter the country. The yellow weather warning, which is in place for south western parts of the UK as well, began at 9am and is not due to expire until 7pm. But earlier this morning the leading forecaster issued a separate wind warning which takes over at 7pm until midnight. It says: “A further spell of squally south to southwesterly winds is expected this evening, with strongest gusts likely to occur near heavy showers and thunderstorms. Winds are likely to gust to 55-65 mph at times, especially around coasts which may lead to some disruption and large waves.”
People should expect to delays to road, rail, air and ferry transport, and high sided vehicles may be halted from crossing exposed routes such as bridges. There is also set to be some short term loss of power.
Some coastal routes, sea fronts and those living near the sea may be affected by spray or large waves. Despite the heads up over conditions continuing well into the night, there has already been some issues reported.
This morning’s mini tornado has ripped up a row of trees closing part of the A470 between Builth Wells and Erwood and will not reopen before Thursday afternoon, Powys County Council said. Locals reported seeing the tornado take down the row of trees on the road, and now traffic from Builth Wells to Llyswen will be affected.
Powys County Council said in a statement: “The A470 is currently closed between Builth Wells and Erwood, after a mini tornado brought down several trees. The road is not expected to reopen before tomorrow afternoon.”
There was a similar incident at the A4066 in Laugharne, Carmarthenshire, on Wednesday afternoon as strong winds and heavy rain swept across the region followed by hail and thunderstorms.
The National Grid has also reported there are nearly 1,000 homes without power. A total of 962 customers are without electricity across south, west and mid Wales, with a total of 14 separate incidents being dealt with.
A power cut in the Newport area of Pembrokeshire has also left 233 customers without electricity. Then, another incident near Pendine, Carmarthenshire, has left 64 properties without power.
The thought of a tornado hitting the UK seems rare, but in fact, the Met Office says around 30 reach the country on a yearly basis. They are typically small and short lived, but can cause structural damage if they pass over built-up areas.
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Amid the disruption The Severn Bridges are also closed in both directions. At around 11.30am National Highways made the announcement and said: “The #M48 #SevernBridge is now closed in both directions due to high winds.”
It is now encouraging people to take a diversion along the Prince of Wales Bridge, via the M4.