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Storm Frank to return flooding rain, strong winds to north and west of UK

Storm Frank will blast the United Kingdom with another round of strong winds and flooding rain on Tuesday afternoon into Wednesday.

As Storm Frank tracks north of the British Isles, rain and wind will increase across Northern Ireland and Scotland on Tuesday afternoon and evening before spreading to Wales and England into Wednesday.

Rainfall amounts will generally average 25-75 mm (1-3 inches) across Northern Ireland, Scotland, the North of England and Wales. There will be localized amounts of up to 130 mm (5 inches), especially along the west-facing slopes of the higher terrain.

With rivers running high and the ground extremely saturated from western Scotland to Wales, the impending rain threatens to bring new or worsening flood problems. This includes around hard-hit Cumbria and Yorkshire.

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"There can be more major river flooding," AccuWeather Meteorologist Tyler Roys said. The flood risk will exist even after Storm Frank passes and floodwaters drain downstream.

"In Northern Ireland, the flood threat will exist in more typical low-lying and poor drainage areas and along small streams," Roys said.

December has already been a record-breaking month for rainfall in parts of the U.K., meaning any significant rain will quickly trigger more flooding. Even ahead of Storm Frank, the Environment Agency reported that there were nine severe flood warnings in effect across the North of England.

In addition to the rain, wind gusts in excess of 50 mph (80 km/h) will be common outside of the southeast of England. The strongest winds, which will range from 65-80 mph (105-130 km/h), will blast coastal and exposed areas of the Scottish Highlands.

"The highest winds will target Northern Ireland on Tuesday afternoon and night, Scotland on Tuesday night and Wales and northern England on Tuesday night into the early afternoon of Wednesday," said Roys.

Storm Frank threatens to bring disruptions to rail service and flights. Drivers of high-sided vehicles will face dangerous crosswinds.

"Compared to other named storms, the wind impacts from Storm Frank will be more widespread across the United Kingdom," Roys said. "There will be scattered power cuts and scattered to widespread tree damage [either in regards to tree branches or the entire tree]."

"With the heavy rain and the wind, there is a greater risk for tree damage that will lead to power cuts."

After bouts of heavy rain, trees can easily be loosened from saturated soil and knocked down by strong winds.

Strong winds associated with Storm Frank will also lead to dangerously rough seas on the Atlantic Ocean and Irish Sea.

"Along the western coast of the U.K. and all of the Northern Ireland coastline, moderate coastal flooding can occur at the time of high tide," Roys said.

"London will miss the worst of Storm Frank but will still experience some wind and rain," Roys added.

It will turn windy around London starting on Tuesday night with gusts of 40 mph (65 km/h) to locally 50 mph (80 km/h) on Wednesday and Wednesday evening.

The city and the rest of South East England will be dry and mild until rain arrives on Wednesday evening. Temperatures will soar to around 12-13 C (middle 50s F) daily into Wednesday, which is about 7 degrees Celsius (10 degrees Fahrenheit) above normal.

In the wake of Storm Frank, Roys expects a disturbance to move across the U.K. with "showers and snow in the Scottish Highlands." However, another round of damaging winds and flooding rainfall will not occur.

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The showers may still be dampening Scotland, as well as eastern and northern England for New Year's Eve festivities Thursday evening. Most of Wales, South West England, West Midlands and Northern Ireland will dry out.

Looking ahead, Roys said "There is a chance for another storm to bring the potential for high winds and heavy rain across the Isles at the start of the new year."