A relatively tranquil stretch of weather across the United Kingdom and Ireland will come to an abrupt end Saturday as a potent storm arrives from the Atlantic.
The first round of strong winds will occur Saturday and Saturday night, buffeting Ireland and Scotland. The highest wind gusts, 80-110 kph (50-70 mph), are expected along south- and west-facing coasts. In Dublin, sustained winds can top 50 kph (31 mph) with gusts to 70 kph (43 mph).
These high winds can produce damage, including downed trees and power lines and also disrupt transportation. Areas farther south, such as London, should be spared the worst of this first storm.
Rain will also accompany this storm across much of the United Kingdom and Ireland. Some of the heaviest rain, around 25 mm, will be found in Northern Ireland and Scotland while residents in England and Wales can expect just a brief period of rain during the afternoon.
A fallen tree blocks a road in South Belfast, Northern Ireland, Thursday, Dec. 5, 2013. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)
This change in the weather will end a prolonged stretch of dry, tranquil weather across much of the region. A large dome of high pressure has been responsible for the quiet weather pattern, but this Saturday's storm will usher in a stormy weather pattern.
AccuWeather.com meteorologists noted, this first storm will break down the high pressure system and open the door for more Atlantic storms next week.
A fast-moving storm system will follow a nearly identical track on Sunday bringing another round of strong to potentially damaging winds to northern Ireland and northern parts of the United Kingdom. Again, the strongest winds will reach 50-70 mph and be found across Northern Ireland and western Scotland.
The stormy weather is expected to continue through much of next week as several storm systems move through the region from the Atlantic. A series of low pressure systems from late Tuesday through Thursday will bring an extended period of very strong winds and downpours to Ireland and the United Kingdom.
This storm has the potential to produce damaging winds for a time across much of the United Kingdom and Ireland. The main concerns at this time are for downed trees and extended power outages.
Travel could also be greatly impacted, especially trains and air traffic.
Unfortunately, this stormy weather pattern will likely continue into the week of Christmas, leading potential travel problems through the holidays.
The United Kingdom, Ireland and other parts of northern Europe have been hit by high winds several times in the past few months including just before Halloween and earlier in December.
Meteorologist Dan DePodwin contributed to this story.
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