British families who are still suffering from the effects of Storm Arwen should be aware that Storm Barra will bring more chaos to the area tomorrow, bringing with it up to four inches of rain and winds of 70 miles per hour.

Around 3,200 homes, mainly in North East England, remained without power overnight ten days after Arwen, and Barra – a deep area of low pressure moving in from the Atlantic – is now set to have a ‘significant impact’.

Met Office issues a warning for England and Wales tomorrow night. Wind gusts could reach up to 70mph at exposed coastline locations, and as high as 50mph in some areas.

The warning warns of a “short-term loss of power” which could be devastating for families that have endured power cut after Arwen, which impacted power supplies in more than one million homes on November 26.

Energy Networks Association (ENA), reported that as of 2pm yesterday, 3190 homes still needed to be connected. It was down from the 4,025 homes that were connected yesterday morning. The majority of these houses are located in the North East. 

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks, (SSEN), reported that power was restored to 135,000 customers yesterday night. However, forecasters predicted another “explosive” event in the Atlantic tomorrow.

Farmer David Eccles and his daughter Emma at their farm in County Durham yesterday which has been without power since Storm Arwen hit on November 26. Around 3,200 homes, mainly in North East England, were still without power overnight

Emma Eccles, a farmer from County Durham, was reunited with her father David Eccles yesterday. Their farm had been without power since the November 26th storm. Overnight, power was still out to around 3,200 houses, mostly in North East England.

Craftsman Emily Heavisive (left) and Trooper Josh Harvey (right) from the Royal Lancers carry out a welfare check on a remote property that remains without power in Teesdale yesterday as the high winds from Storm Arwen continue to impact homes

Trooper Josh Harvey (right), Craftsman Emily Heavisive and Trapper Josh Harvey from Royal Lancers perform a welfare check of a remote property in Teesdale that was still without power yesterday. This is as high winds continue to hit homes. 

Power cables undergo repair in a remote area of Teesdale yesterday as thousands of properties remain without power

Yesterday, thousands of properties were left without power after power cables in remote Teesdale area needed to be repaired

Repair crews now fear more disruptions after meteorologists warned that electricity lines may be downed again by the “weather bomb”, a phenomenon where the central portion of low pressure systems expands 24 millibars per 24 hours.  The Atlantic storm is likely to exceed this level.

 The Irish weather service Met Éireann named it Storm Barra yesterday and the Met Office then followed suit.

The Met Office has issued weather warnings for tomorrow

Met Office issued warnings about tomorrow’s weather

Annie Shuttleworth, Met Office meteorologist, said that a “dusting of snow” was possible on the northern hills today. Showers and hail could also give off a “fairly wintery feel”.

She said that snow could cause major disruptions on higher routes. This would lead to delays in rail, air, and road travel.

Even though the northern regions are most severely affected, overnight temperatures could drop to -6C (21F), and it “may not reach freezing by day” in these areas.

The Army provided assistance to residents who were without power throughout the weekend.

Kwasi Kwarteng, Business Secretary to the BBC said that the BBC was shocked at the amount of people still living without electricity. Kwasi Kwarteng stated that 4,000 homes should be connected to the grid at all times.

Yesterday’s visit by Mr Kwarteng to the North East was for the purpose of assessing the destruction caused by the storm.

Kwarteng stated that the Northern Powergrid call center in Penshaw was near Sunderland and that it could make the system more resilient.

“I was commuting in South East and experienced a blackout on 8/9/2019.

“Immediately following that, we did a review. After we reviewed the system, we stood up for the rail and transportation companies and created a system more resilient. This is exactly what I want this time.

“We will conduct a review to determine if distributors have sufficient infrastructure. If necessary, enforcement actions may be taken.”

What exactly is a Weather Bomb? 

When there’s a sudden fall in pressure at the center of an area with low pressure, a ‘weather bomb’ is also called an ‘explosive cycleogenesis’.

To be classified as a bomb, the level must fall 24 millibars within 24 hours at our latitudes.

These events occur when dry air in the stratosphere is pushed into an area with low pressure.

The depression causes the air in the area to heat up very quickly, increasing its rotation and causing a stronger storm.

These occur most often at sea close to major warm ocean currents such as the Kuroshio Current in the Pacific Ocean or the Gulf Stream near the North Atlantic Ocean.

It is estimated that there are between 45-65 explosive cyclogenesis incidents per year. More bombs tend to happen in the northern half of the hemisphere. 

At the phone centre Mr Kwarteng stated that he didn’t believe (the South would have had power outages solved faster). It is quite different in terms of the physical infrastructure, layout and environment.

“One reason we are not getting people back on power supplies is because of weather conditions. They can be very difficult (with) people living in rural and sparsely populated areas. That presents a problem.

Boris Johnson stated that he held phone calls Saturday with Storm Arwen response leaders and that the Government is ready to support recovery efforts ‘in whatever way’.

Kwarteng stated that a review was being conducted and that if it is found out that energy companies have failed to invest in infrastructure, then there could be enforcement actions.

He said there was also a “huge communication problem” with the energy companies keeping residents up-to-date.

Simon Partridge from Met Office, meteorologist warned that the wind gusts of 45mph-50mph will continue tomorrow into Wednesday and it won’t make it easier for anyone trying to reconnect homes.

He stated, “It’s definitely not going to assist things with these kinds of wind strengths, as well as a mixture of snow and rain in there,’

It’s going to not make life easier for anyone out there.

The weekend was filled with revellers despite the cold, rain and wind. People were seen wearing short skirts and slouchy tops as they headed out for festive events.

Elsewhere there were still signs of the damage caused by Arwen – including a bent Christmas tree outside Manchester Cathedral.

The full force of the storm is predicted to hit Ireland’s West Coast tomorrow night. Forecaster Dan Stroud said, “It’s not good news.”

“As it nears, it intensifies explosively. The storm is expected to bring heavy rain to Scotland, which will then turn into snowy cold weather.

According to him, the East Coast will see the strongest winds, which could produce gusts up to 60 mph or 70 mph at exposed points.

Tomorrow morning at 9am, strong winds will begin to blow across the country. The yellow alert ends at midnight.

Tomorrow morning at 11am, another severe snow warning will be in effect. According to forecasters, some areas could be affected by the snowstorm. Also, this warning ends at midnight.

Arwen was criticized by the Scottish Government. The Government is being urged to mobilize the Army faster if Storm Barra could cause similar disruption.

ENA spokesmen said that the operators had been preparing for the storm by ‘working together.

He said that the energy network operators had been working in concert to plan for Storm Barra.

“We monitor forecasts frequently, coordinate response plans, and prepare to share resources if necessary.”

Ofgem, an energy regulator, has issued warnings about the long delays and warned it would take enforcement actions against any network company that fails to restore electricity to customers in a timely manner.

It has also agreed with firms to lift the £700 cap on compensation which could be offered to those stuck without power.

The change will allow those affected to claim £70 for each 12-hour period they have no electricity, after an initial £70 for the first 48 hours of any cut.