Amber weather warning for Hampshire of high winds and squalls as Storm Bella is due to hit on Boxing Day

THE Met Office has warned that Storm Bella is likely to bring high winds and disruption when it hits the south of England and Wales today.

It has been ranked as an amber warning - one up from the yellow warnings.

Forecasters say that longer journey times and cancellations are likely, as road, rail, air and ferry services may be affected, and that winds could bring tiles down from roofs – with debris proving potentially dangerous.

There is a good chance of power cuts, and mobile coverage may also be affected.

Storm Bella is due to hit Hampshire today Picture: Rod Kirkpatrick/Picture it Now

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And people are being advised to avoid beaches as ‘injuries and danger to life is likely from large waves and beach material being thrown onto coastal roads, sea fronts and properties.’

The forecast is: ‘Very strong southwesterly winds are expected for parts of southern England, south and west Wales later Saturday evening and early Sunday, clearing southeast England around mid-morning. Inland gusts of 50mph to 60mph are likely, with a few spots likely to see 60mph to 70mph for a time.

‘Hills and particularly coasts exposed to the southwesterly winds may see a few gusts of 70-80 mph. In addition to the strong winds, a period of heavy, squally rain is expected, which may well prove an additional hazard.’

The morning runs from 8pm tonight to 9am on Sunday morning.