Gale force winds, torrential rain and some snow expected on Wednesday

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Today started off with some heavy rain and snow followed by sunshine and a few wintry showers.

However, more trouble is brewing in the Atlantic and it’s time to batten down the hatches again with yet another deep area of low pressure moving towards Ireland tomorrow.

This means more heavy rain, severe gales and snow for some.

Warnings are in force including a Met Office amber wind warning for the north and west.

Weather chart for Wednesday 12 February 2014

Wednesday afternoon will be turning stormy with gusts of 60 to 80mph and possibly 90mph on exposed coasts and hills.

This is strong enough to bring down trees and power lines so major disruption is possible.

Tuesday night will be cold and breezy with a mixture of clear spells and heavy wintry showers.

The showers will mostly fall as rain, hail or sleet on the coast but could turn to snow inland.

A few centimetres of snow is likely even at low levels with more snow on higher ground, around 10cm on the Brecon Beacons.

Icy patches are also likely with temperatures inland falling close to freezing.

Wednesday will turn wet and windy with a spell of torrential rain spreading across the country around midday with 20-30mm likely, but clearing to showers in the afternoon.

The wind will become a big feature tomorrow with gales or severe gales in the afternoon and into the evening.

In parts of the north and west the wind may reach storm force with damaging gusts over 80mph in exposed places.

Thursday will be less windy and brighter with a mixture of sunshine and showers - some heavy with hail and turning wintry on higher ground with snow.

Friday will start dry and bright but it won't last as there is yet another low pressure system bringing more wind and rain during the afternoon and the evening.

By the end of this week many places will have had another 60 to 80mm of rain with a continued risk of yet more flooding.

The outlook for next week and into the last week of February is unsettled with further spells of wet and windy weather but probably less extreme with some drier, brighter interludes in between.

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