All newsletters Things That Caught My EyeHockey took a major ratings hitThe numbers are in, and the NHL’s bar on participating in Olympic hockey in Pyeongchang certainly made the sport more skippable for viewers this year. The U.S. men’s victory over Russia in Sochi pulled in 4.1 million viewers, but a game this year against Slovakia drew only a third of that. However, the U.S. women’s win over Canada, which began at 11 p.m. Eastern, pulled in 2.9 million viewers, an NBCSN late night record. [The New York Times]Canada had an awesome Olympic gamesDespite losses in hockey and curling, the 2018 Olympics were a banner year for the Canadian delegation, leaving the games with 29 medals, 11 of which are gold. That’s the best Olympics for Canada ever. [NPR]Try out our interactive, Which World Cup Team Should You Root For?America had a terrible OlympicsThe Associated Press found the internal U.S. Olympic Committee document detailing expectations for the 2018 Olympics, and it’s a tough read. The USOC predicted a minimum of 25 medals, with a forecast of 37 medals and a high estimate of 59 medals. The underperformance here is huge: Team USA goes home with 23 medals, the fewest since 1998. [The Washington Post]Lots of ‘pewter medals’ thoughOne reason for that immense shortfall is that 35 American athletes had to settle for a “pewter” medal, as in they finished just to the left of the podium in fourth, fifth or sixth place. That’s got to sting. [The Los Angeles Times]Try out our super fun quiz, Which Winter Olympic Sport Is Best For You? I got ski jumping!This new rule could change baseballAs part of the constant attempts of the MLB to make the game interesting for new fans who are a little reluctant to devote four and a half hours on every game, the league announced it’ll reduce the number of mound visits in the first nine innings of a game to six, which could ramp up miscommunications. [ESPN]Bullish on BortlesBlake Bortles signed a deal with the Jacksonville Jaguars, earning up to $66.5 million after incentives. Bortles had a stirring postseason but threw 51 interceptions from 2014 to 2016. [ESPN]Big Number+80.68America fell in love with curling, again. This happens every four years. Ever since NBC broadcast 50 hours of curling in Nagano ’98, Americans have eaten up the sport, in many cases being consumed by it. Then they forget about it for the 206 weeks between olympic sessions. Curling is by far the largest Olympics bump of any winter sport, seeing its google search trend index jump a walloping 80.68 points in Olympic months compared to other months. [FiveThirtyEight]Leaks from Slack: neil:U.S. men win curling gold, beat Sweden 10-7!chris.herring:People stayed up to watch this at like 4!tchow:!!!!!Predictions NBA Oh, and don’t forgetTiger nails duck We’re launching a sports newsletter. 🏆 Join the squad. Subscribe See more NBA predictions
Damian Lillard60.5%–– 2015-1624.5%15.2%16.9%5.1% 2017-1821.512.316.04.9 Source: Second Spectrum Stephen Curry46.7–– Even in the area where the duos are most similar — long-range sniping — they are still markedly different because of the disparate ways the players come by their threes. Lillard and McCollum have almost exact inverse splits between the percentage of their 3-point makes that have been pull-ups vs. catch-and-shoots over the past four years, per Second Spectrum, while Curry and Thompson’s splits have not lined up quite as cleanly. ––36.1% Klay Thompson14.0–– 2018-1921.710.014.14.6 Average22.612.915.84.9 ––84.8 ––58.7 CJ McCollum40.7–– The Splash Brother pairs shoot their threes in different waysShare of made 3-pointers in the regular season that were pull-up vs. catch-and-shoot, 2015-16 to 2018-19 Portland’s guards handle the ball moreThe time of possession rates* for each pair of players, 2015-16 to 2018-19 This, of course, is the natural result of the contrasting job descriptions of these players, which flow from the differing roster constructions in Portland and Golden State.Thompson is a classic shooting guard like you might have seen in the early 2000s. He works almost exclusively off the ball, flying off pin-downs and flare screens, spotting up when Curry runs pick and rolls or making split-cuts when Draymond Green has the ball in the post. Curry, meanwhile, may be Golden State’s point guard, but he is more of a co-lead ball-handler, along with Green and Durant, because that structure allows the Warriors to better weaponize his shooting abilities.By contrast, Lillard is essentially the prototype of the modern-day attack guard who is at the controls of the offense at all times, while McCollum splits his time: working off the ball alongside Lillard, on the ball as a de facto backup point guard in certain lineups and off the ball again in bench-heavy units alongside Evan Turner or Curry’s brother Seth. By wading into the tracking data on NBA.com, we can see that in each of the past four seasons, the ball has been in Lillard’s hands for a greater share of his time on the floor than Curry and Thompson’s shares combined, and McCollum has had the ball in his hands nearly as often as Curry and usually more than twice as often as Thompson. The NBA’s splashiest backcourt outside Oakland resides in Portland. Trail Blazers stars Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum have combined to make 1,645 threes over the past four seasons, more than any duo in the league besides Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson.1The four-year period starts when McCollum was elevated to the starting lineup — after the offseason departures of LaMarcus Aldridge, Wesley Matthews and Nic Batum — and became the Robin to Lillard’s Batman. Steph and Klay are also the only backcourt in the league to average more collective points per game over that span of time than Dame and CJ.The Splash Brothers are still (somewhat obviously) the superior pairing. Curry and Thompson are widely considered two of the greatest shooters of all time, and they completely warp opposing defenses. Thompson is also far and away the best defender of the four players. But when the quartet squares off in the Western Conference finals, which begin Tuesday night, the Blazers won’t just be bringing an inferior version of the Splash Brothers to the table. The Splash Brothers Lite are mostly just different — and there are even a few things Dame and CJ do a bit better than Steph and Klay.For starters, Portland’s guards attack off the bounce far more often than their Northern California counterparts. Lillard averaged 13.3 drives per game this season, per Second Spectrum tracking data on NBA.com, and his 7.7 points per game on drives ranked 17th among the 353 NBA players who appeared in at least 40 games. McCollum, meanwhile, averaged 9.4 drives that created 6.3 points per game, a figure that tied for 28th among the same group of players. Each of the Blazers’ guards averaged more drive-points per game than the Warriors’ backcourt duo combined.2Curry’s 7.7 drives per game created 3.9 points per game, (73rd) while Thompson’s 4.4 drives created 2.1 points per game (132nd), which means they combined for only 6.0 points per game off the drive.This isn’t a new phenomenon, either. The Blazers’ guard duo has consistently been more aggressive in attacking the paint than the Warriors have been — both before and after Golden State acquired Kevin Durant prior to the 2016-17 season. 2016-1722.513.615.94.9 YearLillardMcCollumCurryThompson Despite the fact that these guard pairings have carried similar usage rates them over these past four years (30.7 percent and 26.7 percent for Lillard and McCollum; 31.1 percent and 25.4 percent for Curry and Thompson), the above figures show that they have come by that usage in vastly different ways. This is further driven home by the fact that Curry and Thompson have been assisted on their baskets far more often (52 percent and 82 percent) than have Lillard and McCollum (29.6 percent and 38.5 percent).These differences naturally stem from the high-end talent disparity between the two teams. Curry and Thompson have had the benefit of playing alongside Green and Andre Iguodala for the entirety of their run, and they’ve had Kevin Durant as an additional wingman for the past three years. Lillard and McCollum, meanwhile, have spent the majority of their time playing alongside Moe Harkless and Al-Farouq Aminu, as well as one of big men Mason Plumlee, Jusuf Nurkic and Enes Kanter. Those three are all nice players, and they have each proven incredibly valuable for Portland at different times, but none of them brings anywhere close to the brilliance of Durant or Green, none has the versatility of Iguodala, and none is the caliber of playmaker any of the aforementioned Golden State players are.The Warriors thinned out their bench in their series against Houston, but not to the point that Curry and Thompson had less help on their side than Lillard and McCollum do — and anyway, Portland is not Houston. The Blazers don’t have the ability to go small as often or as dangerously as the Rockets did when they put P.J. Tucker at center, which means that Andrew Bogut, Kevon Looney and even Jordan Bell can be on the floor more often. As good as Lillard is, the Blazers don’t have a singular player who has broken the game quite in the same way James Harden. And they don’t have the deep wellspring of wing shooters Houston has, either.What they do have is a star guard tandem and a deep group of players who have supported Dame and CJ on this run to the conference finals. That construction has generally not been enough for teams to beat the Warriors in the past. It may not be now, either. But the Splash Brothers Lite will try to make it work.Check out our latest NBA predictions. Pull-upCatch-and-shoot * Calculated by dividing the number of minutes the ball was in a player’s hands by that player’s total minutes played during a given season.Source: Second Spectrum ––51.3
Wrestling Coach Tom Ryan announced redshirt junior Nick Heflin, redshirt senior C.J. Magrum, redshirt junior Ian Paddock and redshirt sophomore Logan Stieber as the 2012-2013 team captains on Thursday. “Our team members voted for captains and I am proud of who they chose and why they chose them,” Ryan said in a press release. “Logan, Cody, Ian and Nick are all very special men on and off the mat. We all look forward to them leading the Buckeyes in the 2012-13 season.” Helfin was a team captain during last season, finished second in the 174 pounds weight class at the 2011 Big Ten Championships, fifth at the 2012 NCAA championships and was named a 2012 All-American. His career record as a Buckeye is 51-19. Magrum is a 184-pounder and retaining his captain role for the third season in a row. He has a 67-39 career record and has qualified for the NCAA Championships three times. Last season, Magrum finished eighth at the Big Ten championshps but did not compete at the NCAA championships because of injuries. During the 2010-2011 season Paddock was a captain but was redshirted last year. While at OSU the 141-pounder has qualified for the NCAA Championships twice and complied a 42-24 career record. Stieber received the All-Big Ten, Big Ten Freshman of the Year and InterMat Freshman of the Year after winning 2011-2012 Big Ten and NCAA Championship at 133 pounds. He was a three-time Big Ten Wrestler of the Week and holds a career record is 38-5. Also, Stieber competed at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team Wrestling Trials last spring. The Buckeyes wrestling team voted for their captains and will start the season Sunday at the UB Invitational in Buffalo, N.Y.
Freshman goalie Matt Tomkins (31) prepares to make a save during a game against Bowling Green Oct. 29 at the Schottenstein Center. OSU won, 5-3.Credit: Shelby Lum / Photo editorThe Ohio State men’s ice hockey team is heading into a two-game series against Niagara University on the heels of a split series with No. 20-ranked Minnesota Duluth.The Buckeyes (4-4-0, 0-0-0) are set to take on the Purple Eagles (1-4-1, 1-1-1) in the midst of a seven-game homestand, something OSU freshman goalie Matt Tomkins sees as being “huge” for the team at this point in the season.“We love playing here and kind of getting in the groove,” Tomkins said. “It’s been great so far that we’ve been on a little bit of a run, and it’s going to continue to pay off that we get to continue to play at home in front of our home crowd.”Tomkins added that the homestand is crucial to picking up some momentum as the team heads into Big Ten Conference play, which starts Nov. 29.“Obviously, winning four out of five (games) is huge,” he said. “Having this homestand gives us a great opportunity to continue this roll here moving forward, and it’s a very positive attitude in the locker room.”There is also the potential that junior forward Tanner Fritz, who sustained an upper-body injury in OSU’s 4-3 loss against Bowling Green Oct. 15, might be back in the lineup for the series. Coach Steve Rohlik said he’s been skating and that he’s “optimistic that we might see him in action this weekend.” Fritz’s return, though, can’t allow the team to become complacent.“Hopefully, our team doesn’t let down and think that since we have one of our best players back, they can drop their guard a little bit,” Rohlik said. “I think this is an opportunity, and I hope that having one of our better players back makes everybody better.”’Looking forward, Rohlik said the team will have to continue building momentum — in the series against Niagara and beyond — in order to get where it wants to be.“We’ve got build on what we did this weekend against Duluth. If we have any kind of letdown, we’re in for a rude awakening,” Rohlik said. “Our guys have to build on the momentum, they’ve got to build on their work ethic … if we do that, we’re going give ourselves the best chance to have success.”He added that the team’s competitiveness and consistency, two things it struggled with early this season, have improved greatly and will have to continue to do so.“We’re still a little up-and-down at times … but if you can get the compete and the consistency, I think you’re going to have a good hockey team,” Rohlik said.Junior forward Nick Oddo said “sticking to (their) systems” while also “tweaking the details,” has made the Buckeyes an overall better team.OSU has not faced Niagara since 2000, but Rohlik said the Buckeyes must come out ready to play or the outcome won’t be what they want.“If we don’t come out and play our best hockey, we’re in trouble,” he said.The Buckeyes and the Purple Eagles are slated to face off this weekend, with the puck set to drop at 7:05 p.m. Friday and 8:05 p.m. Saturday.
Junior linebacker Ryan Shazier (left) hits Connor Cook after he releases a pass during the Big Ten Championship Game Dec. 7 in Indianapolis. OSU lost, 34-24. Credit: Shelby Lum / Photo editorOhio State junior linebacker Ryan Shazier said that although he has not made a decision on whether to forego his senior season and enter the 2014 NFL Draft, he is “leaning towards staying” in school.“Right now I’m dead flat in the middle. I don’t know what I’m going to do,” Shazier said Friday. “If I would say anything I would probably be leaning towards staying.”Shazier, a first team All-Big Ten selection by both the coaches and media, totaled 12 tackles in OSU’s 34-24 loss to Michigan State Dec. 7 in the Big Ten Championship Game. He led the conference in tackles during the regular season, tallying 122 total to go along with five and a half sacks.The No. 7 Buckeyes (12-1, 8-1) are set to play No. 12 Clemson (10-2, 7-1) in the Orange Bowl Jan. 3 after losing to the Spartans and missing out on a chance to play for the BCS National Championship. Shazier said that will not play a factor into his decision for next year.“This season’s really not playing much of a role in me coming back. It’s just the outcome of whether the coaches and everybody say that’s what’s best for me and my family, what’s best for us,” Shazier said. “I’m just going to look at the evaluations and whatever we just feel is the best decision … how much school I have left, what is the best circumstance. I’m just going to look at everything and how that plays out then make my decision.”A projected first-round pick by CBS Sports, Shazier has been a vital part to the OSU defense during his three years in Columbus. The chance of being selected that high, though, is also not on his mind.“To be honest I really don’t even know right now. I’m not even really focusing up on that I’m just focusing on the game,” Shazier said.
OSU coach Urban Meyer watches his team during spring practice March 20 at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center.Credit: Mark Batke / For The LanternOffense is what Urban Meyer is known for as a football coach.His spread system has helped him win two national championships, and win 83.7 percent of the games he’s been a head coach.But after watching Ohio State’s defense get torched in its final three games — two of them losses, to Michigan State and Clemson in the Big Ten Championship Game and 2014 Discover Orange Bowl, respectively — Meyer has said he is putting more of an emphasis on that side of the ball. He said the defense had to undergo an “overhaul” after last year — and so far, he likes what he’s seen after bringing in co-defensive coordinator and safeties coach Chris Ash and defensive line coach Larry Johnson.“It’s going well,” Meyer said Tuesday on how Ash is working with fellow co-defensive coordinator and linebackers coach Luke Fickell after OSU’s sixth spring practice. “We’re completely revamping the entire back end of how we do our business, and so far it’s been pretty good.”The Buckeyes finished 112th in the country last year in defending the pass, giving up 268 yards per game. That group lost leaders like linebacker Ryan Shazier, cornerback Bradley Roby and safety Christian Bryant to graduation or the NFL Draft, but Meyer likes what he’s seen from their replacements so far in spring ball — particularly junior linebacker Joshua Perry, who is looking to fill Shazier’s shoes.“He’s really, he’s without question one of our top five most improved players,” Meyer said of Perry. “Demeanor’s always been there, work ethic’s been there and the toughness element is something that’s really improved. Love of the game and he’s a wonderful guy to coach.”Offensively, however, OSU has the task of replacing four offensive linemen as well as stud tailback Carlos Hyde, who were all big parts of OSU rushing for 4,321 yards last season.One of the replacements on the offensive line has already been set according to Meyer, who said redshirt-sophomore Pat Elflein has earned a starting spot. Elflein played admirably during the Michigan game last year, as well as the Big Ten Championship Game.As for running back, Meyer said Tuesday that between redshirt-senior Rod Smith, sophomore Ezekiel Elliott, redshirt-sophomores Warren Ball and Bri’onte Dunn, “no one’s really separated themselves yet.”Starting senior quarterback Braxton Miller hasn’t been taking snaps all spring because of a shoulder surgery Feb. 21, but he’s been taking mental repetitions with a camera on his hat and reviewing them with offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Tom Herman.Not getting the actual reps with Miller on the field is “frustrating,” Herman said Tuesday, while also noting that the team has to replace four starters on the offensive line.Herman isn’t worried too much about that, though.“It’d be a bigger concern if I didn’t believe the talent was there, and if I didn’t believe in (offensive line coach) Ed Warinner,” Herman said. “This group of O-linemen, whether we like to say it or not is much farther ahead than the group of our O-linemen our first spring.”Another player who has improved is sophomore running back Dontre Wilson, who Meyer said “is the starting H at Ohio State,” as he looks to fulfill that hybrid position the offense so desperately needs.“But we’d like that hybrid position is really a key guy if we can do that,” Meyer said.Herman echoed Meyer, saying the reason Wilson’s role was simple last year was because he wasn’t ready for anything more than that.“He couldn’t play receiver last year — he didn’t know what the hell he was doing,” Herman said of Wilson. “Didn’t know how to do it. He was 175 pounds or whatever the heck he was. So him and his ability limited us. And ability doesn’t just include running fast and making guys miss. There’s a lot that goes into and usability in the offense. Has had a great offseason and really took to the position and it still learning.”The Buckeyes are set to take on Navy in their first game of the season Aug. 30 at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore. Kickoff is set for noon.
She said they conducted the study because of the inconsistency across the country in the way forces treat officers with visible tattoos and to ensure policy reflects the views of the public.“It is clear from the findings that the vast majority of people do not have a problem with police officers having visible tattoos,” she said.“Having a design inked on your body, even if it is clearly visible, has no bearing on someone’s ability to carry out their duty to serve the public and as our survey found in some cases it can act as a great icebreaker and a way of breaking down barriers, particularly with young people.” It is not a huge surprise to find that so many officers, particularly women, have tattoos because this simply reflects modern society and the people they serveVictoria Martin Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. This is despite the fact that many forces, including the largest, the Metropolitan Police, ban visible body art on duty. The Police Federation is calling for people who have visible tattoos, such as on the neck and face, still to be allowed to join the service.With only a third of British adults thought to have tattoos, the greater propensity among police officers is thought to be because many are recruited from the Armed Forces, where tattoos are popular. Many forces ban visible tattoosCredit:Alamy Laura Millward of Leicestershire PoliceCredit: Andrew Fox In the 102 years since the first policewomen took to the beat, much has changed in their outward appearance.Heavy ankle-length skirts have given way to more practical trousers and there is now little to distinguish their uniform from that of male colleagues.But one surprising area where female officers are setting themselves apart is in the field of body art, with a survey finding that more than half of policewomen now have tattoos. The Police Federation – which represents rank and file officers – found that 52 per cent of female officers had at least one tattoo, compared to 47 per cent of their male colleagues. There is no consistent tattoo policy across the countryCredit:Allan Milligan Not all members of the public are convinced that tattoos are in keeping with the professional image of the police.Almost a quarter of those who took part in the survey said they would not feel comfortable dealing with an officer with a tattoo on display. That rose to 37 per cent among the over-65s. But the overwhelming majority of the public questioned in the survey did not object to seeing police officers with body art.Sixty per cent said they supported the Police Federation’s call for the ban on visible tattoos to be lifted. National guidelines published in 2011 stated that the police service should consider candidates provided visible tattoos were not offensive. But in 2012, Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, the Metropolitan Police commissioner, took a harder line, ordering all visible tattoos to be covered while on duty.In a strongly worded statement, he told his 31,000 officers: “All visible tattoos damage the professional image of the Metropolitan Police.”Victoria Martin, who led the Police Federation study, said: “It is not a huge surprise to find that so many officers, particularly women, have tattoos because this simply reflects modern society and the people they serve.”
However, the Official Solicitor, the official representing Pc Briggs’s interests, said it would take the decision to the Court of Appeal.Pc Briggs, 43, suffered a brain injury when Chelsea Rowe ploughed into his motorcycle in her Nissan Micra on July 3 2015 as he drove along the Birkenhead flyover on his way to work a night shift with Merseyside Police.Rowe, 26, was given a 12-month suspended prison sentence in July this year, after admitting causing serious injury by dangerous driving. Mrs Briggs welcomed Mr Justice Charles’s ruling and said the decision to contest it would only prolong her family’s agony. Speaking on Tuesday, she said: “Paul was such a selfless, kind and charitable person. He dedicated his career and his life to serving others. We know that he would have wanted us to pursue this case for him.”Doctors had told the court that Pc Briggs, who had previously served in the Gulf War with the Army, would benefit from being moved to a specialist rehabilitation centre and “a more socially stimulating environment”. However, the court ruled that, even in the best-case scenario, he would not regain the capacity to make complex decisions, would not improve physically and would need 24-hour care. A judge has said that doctors should be able to withdraw treatment from a Gulf War veteran who was left in a coma after a head-on collision, ruling that is what he would have wanted.Lindsey Briggs had asked judges to allow her policeman husband Paul to die, against the view of doctors at the Liverpool hospital where he is being treated who said it would be wrong to withdraw treatment as he is in a “minimally conscious state” but not a “permanent vegetative state”.On Tuesday Mr Justice Charles, sitting in the Court of Protection, agreed that, despite his “natural instinct of survival”, Pc Briggs would have wanted to die and that he should be moved to a hospice where he would stop receiving fluids and nutrition and would receive palliative care in his final few weeks.Mr Justice Charles ruled that Pc Briggs’s “best interests are best served by giving effect to what he would have been able to dictate by exercising his right to self determination rather than the very powerful counter arguments based on the preservation of his life”. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. Doctors said Paul Briggs was not in a ‘permanent vegetative state’ from which there would be no hope of recoveryCredit:PA Paul Briggs suffered a brain injury in a motorcycle crash while serving with Merseyside PoliceCredit:PA
Ross Greenhill, the coastal operations area commander, said: “We always advise people to check the weather and tidal conditions before they set out so that they can either prepare accordingly or consider whether they should even be going out at all.”At sea, changes in tidal streams can make conditions worse, particularly if the wind and tide are against each other and tidal heights may hide underwater hazards.”It also emerged that some customers who had used Atlas Choice to book a hire car over Christmas were double-charged after the firm failed to pass payments onto suppliers. Grahame Madge, a spokesman for the Met Office, added: “We are expecting gusts of around 80mph widespread within the amber warning area, up to 90mph in places.”We have had the good fortune to be able to issue the weather warnings ahead of Storm Barbara coming, with plenty of time hopefully for people to change their plans if they need to.”But the nature of the storm means it still has the potential to have an impact on power supplies, structures, and disrupt bridge and ferry crossings.”The UK Coastguard also issued its own safety warnings ahead of the weekend. There are also fears of delays on the road through a potential last-minute increase in motorists after Network Rail announced it is carrying out up to 200 improvement works, with some starting on Christmas Eve.Rail passengers will face disruption for up to 14 days, as stations including London Paddington, Liverpool Street, Charing Cross, Waterloo and Cannon Street are closed.Those in London, Manchester and Cardiff are expected to be the hardest hit by the works, which may cause delays as well as cancellations and diversions.Phil Hufton, Network Rail’s managing director for England and Wales, said the “vital investment” was being carried out to improve journeys and make the railway more reliable. Amber & Yellow weather warnings for #wind have been updated https://t.co/TmvTfmDfrK. Stay #weatheraware @metofficeuk pic.twitter.com/rmTN2Dsgzl— Met Office (@metoffice) December 22, 2016 Highways England said it had completed or lifted 448 miles of roadworks ahead of the Christmas period, but 164 miles were still in place. It came as the Met Office extended its yellow weather warning for wind to include the South West and Wales on Thursday and Scotland on Boxing Day. An amber “be prepared” warning remained in place for the north of Scotland, where winds are expected to get up to 90mph.Rod Dennis, the RAC’s traffic watch spokesman, said the extreme weather would “make the going tough for anyone driving on Friday especially”. Motorists are set to face chaos as the Christmas getaway begins on Friday, with rail engineering works, strikes and extreme weather all expected to disrupt travel.More than 10 million people will make journeys between now and Sunday, with 3.5 million setting off on Friday, according to the RAC.Forecasters and road experts warned of potential restrictions on bridges and disruption to ferries as heavy rain and gusts of wind “join forces”.Parts of the country also face potential structural damage and power outages as Storm Barbara – this year’s second named storm – sweeps in. It still has the potential to have an impact on power supplies, structures, and disrupt bridge and ferry crossingsGrahame Madge, a spokesman for the Met Office We are currently experiencing foggy conditions, which are expected to clear later this morning. (1/2)— Heathrow Airport (@HeathrowAirport) December 22, 2016 He insisted more than 95 per cent of the network would remain unaffected and “will be open for business as usual”.”There’s never a good time to impact on journeys and I’d like to thank passengers in advance for their patience”, he added.Meanwhile, ongoing industrial action is expected to affect Southern and Gatwick Express services, with further planned strikes by ASLEF and RMT between Dec 31 and Jan 2.There will be roadworks on the M1, M5 near Droitwich and M6 near Crewe as improvement works are carried out. Others found their booking had been cancelled or was marked as not paid for, despite having paid. Atlas Choice could not be reached for comment. Storm Barbara has been named in line with the Met Office’s alphabetical policy for the strongest weather systems and is only the second name designated this season, which began on October 1, after Storm Angus.It came after festive travel plans faced being thrown into chaos after Heathrow, Gatwick and London City Airport all experienced a raft of hold-ups due to the weather on Thursday morning.All three airports were hit by delays as thick fog shrouded the capital. A spokesman for Heathrow said some early-morning flights had been been pushed back and knock-on delays could take place throughout the day, adding that there have yet to be any cancellations. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings.