The Met Office has warned that the UK’s first named weather system of the season – Storm Ali – is set to bring ‘very strong winds’ to Northern Ireland, Scotland, northern England and part of north Wales on Wednesday (19 September), bringing with it the threat of travel disruption.
An Amber National Severe Weather Warning is in place in these areas, with meteorologists forecasting gusts of 65-75 mph and up to 80 mph in coastal regions and high ground.
The warning means there is a chance of damage to buildings and power cuts, as well as delays on road, rail, air and ferry services, especially in more exposed areas and on bridges.
Chief forecaster Laura Paterson said: “As this is the first spell of very strong winds of the season, and given that most trees are still in full leaf, we are likely to see some dangerous conditions with falling trees and flying branches and other debris likely. Strong winds will be accompanied by heavy, squally showers.”
While the Met Office says winds will gradually ease later on Wednesday, most parts of the UK can expect strong winds and heavy rain throughout the rest of the week, with a yellow warning for rain issued for parts of Wales and northwest England on Thursday.
Past experience says the likelihood of fallen trees and debris blowing onto railways has the potential to bring with it train delays and cancellations.
As usual, airline passengers should check the status of their flight in case Storm Ali brings delays.