Storm warning: ‘Flying debris is likely and could pose a danger to life’

Dangerous flying debris and travel cancellations are expected as the first named storm of the season brings strong winds of up to 80mph to the UK and Ireland.

Amber severe weather warnings for the north of England, Scotland and Northern Ireland have been issued ahead of Storm Ali’s arrival in the early hours of Wednesday.

Waves crash over the marina wall in Brighton, East Sussex, as stormy weather arrives across the UK. Pic by Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

Waves crash over the marina wall in Brighton, East Sussex, as stormy weather arrives across the UK. Pic by Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

Journeys by road, rail and air are likely to be disrupted and the conditions could also damage buildings, lead to power cuts and blow over trees.

Ali is first on the storm names list for 2018-19 announced by the Met Office and Met Eireann, which has run the Name Our Storms scheme for four years.

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 and Ireland.

The practice is aimed at raising awareness of severe weather before it hits, with polling finding almost 80% of people think naming storms is useful in making them realise severe weather may have a greater impact than normal.

Flying debris is likely and could pose a danger to life, the Met Office added.

Milder yellow wind warnings were also issued across Northern Ireland, Scotland, the north of England and Wales on Wednesday.

The amber warnings are in place from 8am to 5pm, while the yellow alerts are scheduled from 6am to 10pm.

Forecasters cancelled a wind warning for Tuesday due to gusts not meeting the power threshold as Storm Helene fades away.

Meteorologist Dean Hall said parts of the UK felt gusts of about 30-40mph on Tuesday morning, with wind speeds reaching 50mph in parts of Wales.

Storm Helene, which was downgraded after initial warnings it may pose a risk to life, is moving away towards the north east and will have moved on by Wednesday.

“We’ve got rain currently across Scotland, northern England, eastern parts of Northern Ireland, associated with what was Storm Helene,” Mr Hall said.

Wednesday could see winds of 60-70mph, the forecaster said, adding: “Certainly we could see close to 80mph, possibly even higher miles per hour in exposed areas in the far north of the country.”

Meteorologist Bonnie Diamond added: “Winds will build quite quickly through the morning and remain very strong.

“Temperatures will remain fairly mild though as it brings in mild air from the Atlantic.

“Moving into Thursday 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.”

Temperatures remain above average for this time of year with 24C (75F) possible in London on Tuesday after the mercury hit 26C (79F) in the capital on Monday.

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.

• Read related story - Weather warning: Storm Ali to bring 70mph gusts, traffic chaos and possible danger to life