A powerful Atlantic windstorm will lash the UK and Ireland Saturday into Sunday.
High winds of at least 60 mph (95 km/h) in exposed parts could cause localized damage. Highest damage potential will likely be focused upon Ireland through Scotland.
The storm will also usher in marked warming, giving the highest temperatures of the year to date.
The Atlantic storm will intensify far to the west, beginning on Friday, then will lift northward on a path towards Iceland Saturday through Sunday. The outer gales east of the storm will reach near-shore waters of western Ireland early Saturday. From here, they will spread north and east to Scotland later Saturday and Sunday.
Strong winds will also buffet England and Wales. However, odds are that any severe, potentially damaging winds will be confined to hills and remote stretches of coast.
Computer-derived (GFS) forecast of near-surface winds effective 0000 UTC Sunday, April 14, 2013. High winds are focused to be near maximum extent in the British Archipelago at this time. Lightest orange shows 30-35 knots with gales (35 knots and above) in darker shades. Note the much lower average speeds over land. Primary storm center is west of Ireland and south of Iceland at this time. (image credit: FNMOC website)
Rainfall with the storm will be moderate as a whole, but locally heavy along the western and southern upslope of Ireland and Scotland.
Weekend warming will culminate in highs of 15 to 20 degrees C (59 to 68 degrees F) over nearly all of England, Wales and Ireland, together with parts of Scotland, mostly on Sunday.
It would be the first big UK warmup since early March, an event which was followed by four weeks of unusually cold weather. Indeed, for the UK, March was called the second coldest on record by meteorologists with the nation's Met Office. It was also the coldest UK March since 1962.
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