London weather: Storm Barney is on its way as Met Office issues yellow weather warning for London and south east - and travel disruption is expected

Catherine Neilan
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I am Barney, hear me roar (Source: Getty)

Update: The Met Office has updated its severe weather warning, saying London and the south east should expect severe gales and torrential rain from 4pm today as Storm Barney lands.

Why is the storm called Barney? The Met Office decided it would encourage us to pay more attention to the weather if events like storms were given familiar names. Barney and last week's storm Abigail are the first of a series of crowdsourced names therefore.

Barney might conjure up images of something more cuddly - the children's character, for people of (or with children of) a certain age - but the weather forecaster has warned we could hear him roar.

And this time it's going to come further south than Abigail ventured. The Met Office has issued a yellow warning for "heavy rain" and "some very strong winds".

"Severe gales" reaching up to 80mph could run across parts of southern, central and eastern England, as well as Wales.

Areas at particular risk include London and the south east, Buckinghamshire, Hampshire, Southampton and Sussex.

"Be aware of the risk of disruption to travel and that gusts of this strength could bring down trees and lead to some damage to weakened structures," the forecaster said.

National Rail has issued its own alert, with operators including Southern Rail advising customers to check before they travel as severe weather could "affect train services across the network".

Barney will also bring "very moist tropical air", which could lead to "further bouts of persistent and, at times, heavy rain".

"The public should be aware that, given the already saturated conditions, flooding is possible either from standing water or from rivers already swollen by recent rainfall," the weather office said.

"This could lead to disruption to travel and perhaps localised flooding to properties."

Andy Page, chief meteorologist, added: "Storm Barney is expected to be a fast moving storm system bringing a few hours of severe gales to southern parts of Britain later [Tuesday] afternoon and evening. It brings the potential for travel disruption and could bring down trees.

"There remains a good deal of uncertainty in this evolution and particularly the location of the strongest winds in association with wind Storm Barney, so this warning will be kept under review and updated as necessary."

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