THE tail of killer Storm Jonas is due to lash the North West over the next 24 hours, although Lancashire could dodge the worst.
While forecasters issued a yellow weather warning for the region yesterday, they later withdrew the alert for the Red Rose county and its already flood-hit communities, predicting Jonas might deliver only a glancing blow and hit North Wales and Cumbria full on instead.
Gale force winds and heavy rain are expected from late morning today through to Wednesday, bringing with them a risk of flooding, particularly on the northern coast of Morecambe Bay.
But the Met Office, which has been tracking Jonas across the Atlantic since it brought death and destruction to the eastern side of the United States at the weekend, believes it will skirt most of Lancashire, much to the relief of villages like Croston, St Michael’s and Whalley which are still reeling from the Boxing Day floods brought by Storm Eva.
Wherever Jonas does strike it is unlikely to bring snow, unlike in the US where up to 40 inches fell over Friday/Saturday, bringing the east coast to a standstill.
In fact weather experts say it is likely to be a milder than normal week to end a miserable January, although still wet and windy.
Jonas, dubbed “the storm of a generation,” has been blamed for the deaths of at least 28 people in the United States.
But the Met Office says it has warmed and modified during its journey across the water, bringing rain rather than snowfall to the UK.
More than two inches is expected to hit parts of Cumbria, with Wales affected even worse with three to six inches by tomorrow.
Following the lifting of the yellow alert in Lancashire yesterday, the forecasters are now predicting two main bouts of rain and wind, one over lunchtime today and the other overnight into Wednesday. Winds could gust up to 42 mph.