UPDATED: 81MPH WINDS RECORDED AT THE NEEDLES AS SEVERE GALES BATTER THE ISLAND

Gusts in excess of 80mph have been recorded at The Needles this morning (Saturday), as strong winds continue to hit the Isle of Wight.

According to Needles Coastwatch, winds are currently 55 knots from the north, with a wind chill factor of -4c.

The highest recorded wind speed overnight has been 81.4mph, prompting a warning to hardy walkers to avoid the headland until the storm abates.

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As previously reported by Island Echo, a yellow weather warning for severe gales remains in force from IW Met Service.

Things are expected to ease a little during this afternoon before strengthening again overnight and into early Sunday morning, with gusts of 50-60mph, especially over high ground.

Islanders are being warned about the risk of falling tree debris such as leaves, twigs and branches. Perhaps even the odd uprooted tree in the most exposed locations.

Cross-Solent travel is being hampered by the storm, with Hovertravel’s Ryde-Southsea service suspended until further notice. An update is expected at 09:45.

UPDATE @ 12:24 – Hovertravel services remain suspended with the next update set to be provided at 13:45.

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Meanwhile, Red Funnel has announced that it’s Red Jet service from West Cowes to Southampton has been suspended until further notice as a result of the adverse conditions.

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