Guardian News and Media/London
Scotland, Northern Ireland and the north of England have been advised to batten down the hatches for the first named storm of the season.
The Met Office issued the weather alert from 6am today, when Storm Ali was expected to roll in from the Atlantic bringing gusts of 80mph.
Forecasters warned of danger to life from flying debris, while power cuts, damage to buildings, road closures and transport cancellations were also possible.
Dean Hall, a meteorologist, said: “We could see close to 80mph, possibly even higher miles per hour in exposed areas in the far north of the country.”
Strong winds were expected to strengthen through the morning and be accompanied by heavy showers in some places. They would gradually ease, with the weather warning ending at 10pm.
The autumnal conditions come after commuters in Scotland and northern England experienced a wet and windy start to the day yesterday, as the remnants of Storm Helene, downgraded from hurricane force, tracked across the British Isles. Parts of the UK were hit by gusts of about 30-40mph, with wind reaching 50mph in Wales.
Forecasters cancelled a weather warning after the storm dissipated before it reached the shore. The forecast for today was not part of Storm Helene, which would have moved on, Hall said.
Temperatures could climb to an above average 24C (75F) in London, after a high of 26C on Monday.
Amber severe weather warnings for the north of England, Scotland and Northern Ireland were issued ahead of Storm Ali’s arrival
Power cuts may occur, with the potential to affect other services, such as mobile phone coverage, the Met Office warned.
“Moving into tomorrow we will see widespread heavy and persistent rain which looks set to change to sunshine and showers on Friday, before becoming more settled on Saturday,” the weather forecast added.
The full list of storm names for 2018-2019 is: Ali, Bronagh, Callum, Deirdre, Erik, Freya, Gareth, Hannah, Idris, Jane, Kevin, Lily, Max, Niamh, Oliver, Peggy, Ross, Saoirse, Tristan, Violet and Wyn.
It is the fourth year that the Met Office and Met Eireann have run the Name our Storms scheme, which aims to raise awareness of severe weather before it hits.
The season’s names have been compiled from a list of submissions by the public, choosing some of the most popular names and also selecting those which reflect the nations, culture and diversity of the UK.
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