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How to stay on the straight and narrow

Wind rarely blows steadily, and sudden gusts can catch you out

Gusts are more likely on open stretches of road, when passing bridges or gaps in hedges, or when overtaking high-sided vehicles. And wind can bring down tree branches, blow you off course or blow other vehicles into your path.

Strong wind

Top tips

  • Keep both hands on the wheel
  • Be ready for stronger winds and gusts on exposed stretches of road or when passing high-sided vehicles
  • Be ready for sudden gusts when passing tall buildings in urban areas
  • Keep your speed down – strong gusts won’t blow you as far off course
  • Take care and leave extra room around cyclists and motorcyclists. They're particularly vulnerable to sudden gusts and may veer across the road
  • Keep your distance from other vehicles, especially high-sided vehicles and caravans
  • Avoid towing high-sided trailers like caravans or horseboxes if very windy conditions are forecast
  • Twigs or small branches in the road could mean there’s a tree or large branch in the way around the next bend
  • Partially fallen trees can hang above the sweep of your headlights, making them hard to spot
  • Plan your journey carefully, checking weather and traffic bulletins regularly
  • Expect lower speed limits or temporary closures on exposed bridges – especially for towing vehicles – and road closures due to fallen debris or accidents

Naming storms

The World Meteorological Organisation has been naming Atlantic tropical storms since 2008, but we're now in on the act. Storms affecting the UK and Ireland were named for the first time in 2015/16 to raise awareness of severe weather.

UK storms over the winter of 2017/18
  1. Aileen (12-13 September 2017)
  2. Ex-Hurricane Ophelia (16-17 October 2017)
  3. Brian (21 October 2017)
  4. Caroline (7 December 2017)
  5. Dylan (30-31 December 2017)
  6. Eleanor (2-3 January 2018)
  7. Fionn
  8. Georgina
  9. Hector
UK storms over the winter of 2016/17:
  1. Angus (19 November)
  2. Barbara (20 December)
  3. Conor (23 December)
  4. Doris (22 February 2017)
  5. Ewan (26 February 2017)
UK storms over the winter of 2015/16:
  1. Abigail (12-13 November 2015).
  2. Barney (17-18 November 2015).
  3. Clodagh (29 November 2015).
  4. Desmond (5-6 December 2015).
  5. Eva (24 December 2015).
  6. Frank (29-30 December 2015).
  7. Gertrude (29 January 2016).
  8. Henry (1-2 February 2016).
  9. Imogen (8 February 2016).
  10. Jake (2 March 2016).
  11. Katie (27-28 March 2016).


2 January 2018

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