Weather disrupts power supplies

About 1,000 people in South Wales are without power as heavy winds batter the region.

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The St Jude storm last week caused widespread disruption

About 1,000 people in South Wales are without power as heavy winds batter the region.

Forecasters predict the "unsettled weather" will mar most of the weekend, although it is not expected to be as bad as the powerful St Jude storm.

A Western Power Distribution spokesman said the 1,000 outages were rare, but the weather was to blame.

"It's purely wind," he said.

"As you know, it's been blowing quite a gale here."

Gusts of 60-70mph hit Wales today, while the heaviest rain fell in northern England, Scotland and north Wales.

Paul Mott, senior forecaster with MeteoGroup, the weather division of the Press Association, said parts of western Wales faced "fairly damaging gusts".

Mr Mott said people can expect as much as 10-20mm of rain.

"It looks like it will be a bit less windy tomorrow and there will be sunny spells with a few showers as well," he said.

Looking ahead to the close of the weekend, Mr Mott said there will be heavy rain over southern Britain on Sunday night, with the possibility of gusty winds along the English Channel coast.

The forecaster added: "It doesn't look as windy as it did when we had the storm."

Last Sunday and Monday's powerful St Jude storm was the worst in 26 years and killed five people.

Meanwhile, last month was one of the mildest Octobers on record.

Gemma Plumb, another forecaster with MeteoGroup, said the new month will bring ''drier and chillier weather as would be expected in November'', after October was confirmed as the mildest the UK has seen since 2006.

The south west, south Wales and Midlands saw the highest above average temperatures, at 1.5C warmer than is usual for the month.

But although it was milder than usual, it was also the least sunny October since 2005 and the wettest in England and Wales since 2000, Ms Plumb said.

Tim Field of the Energy Networks Association said engineers were on standby over the weekend to deal with power problems caused by wild weather.

Mr Field said he believed homes that were still without power in the east of England yesterday had been reconnected by the end of the day.

He said it was not the wind itself that causes problems but the consequences such as falling trees and downed power lines.

Mr Field added that all network operators will be in close contact with the Met Office over the weekend.