Strong winds, heavy rain hit parts of UK as Storm Antoni arrives

Strong winds, heavy rain hit parts of UK as Storm Antoni arrives

Unseasonably strong winds, bringing heavy rain, expected last until Saturday evening

By Burak Bir

LONDON (AA) – Strong winds and heavy rain hit parts of the UK as Storm Antoni arrived on Saturday, affecting southwestern regions of Wales and England.

The Met Office issued two amber weather warnings for wind in southwestern Wales and parts of southwestern England from late Friday night and into Saturday.

Northern Ireland is the first to see "the influence of this low-pressure system" from the early hours of Saturday morning, according to the weather agency.

"A further warning for wind has also been issued for southern and western parts of Wales, the southwest of England, as well as a large stretch of the south coast of England," it said in a statement.

The strongest winds are affecting parts of southwestern Wales and southwestern England where exposed coasts and high ground could see gusts in excess of 96.5 kph (60 mph).

The unseasonably strong wind, bringing heavy rain, is expected to last until 7 p.m. local time (1800GMT) on Saturday, according to the Met Office.

"Busy travel networks at this time of year and the possibility of people having made plans to be outside have resulted in the system meeting our criteria for naming, with a strong chance of disruption for those within the warning areas," Steve Willington, chief meteorologist at the Met Office, said in the statement.

Meanwhile, warnings stress potential transport disruption and the possible power cuts.

“We expect Saturday to be the worst day on the roads of the summer so far, especially for anyone in the southwest of England – and that’s a lot of people as our research shows it’s the most popular part of the country for leisure trips by car this year," said Willington.

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