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Storm Ali and Storm Bronagh lash the UK and Ireland in one-two punch

By Eric Leister, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
September 20, 2018, 12:16:40 PM EDT


Storm Ali unleashed strong winds and downpours on the British Isles Wednesday and windstorms to follow through weeks end

Strong winds from Ali claimed the life of one person on Wednesday as a woman died in Ireland after her caravan was blown off a cliff into rough seas below.

A second fatality was reported in Northern Ireland when a man was struck and killed by a falling tree, according to the BBC. A woman was seriously injured in Cheshire, England when a tree fell on her automobile.


More than 185,000 homes were left without power during the worst of the storm in Ireland. Another 65,000 homes suffered power cuts in Northern Ireland and 30,000 in Scotland. Some locations could be without power for multiple days.

A peak wind gust of 164 km/h (102 mph) was reported on the Tay Road Bridge between Dundee and Fife, Scotland. Elsewhere, a wind gust of 143 km/h (89 mph) was reported at Mace Head in Galway, Ireland.

This magnitude of wind can result in tree damage, power outages and significant travel disruption.

The strong winds have already disrupted travel in Ireland by forcing the closure of The Foyle Bridge, grounding flights in Dublin and canceling some ferry services. Only low-sided vehicles were allowed to cross the bridge through Thursday.

Strong winds and rough seas caused the cruise liner, The Nautica, to come loose from its mooring lines in Scotland, leaving about 500 passengers and crew stranded.

Downed trees have resulted in numerous road closures and rail delays across Ireland, Northern Ireland and Scotland.

A freight train detailed in Scotland after striking debris on the tracks due to high winds from Storm Ali.

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Ali is not the latest storm to reach the United Kingdom. Storm Bronagh formed on the heels of Ali, and will impact the British Isles through Thursday night.

Winds will be strongest on the southern side of Bronagh, across parts of Wales, southern England and the Midlands.

"Wind gusts of 40-50 mph are expected, with isolated gusts as high as 60 mph possible in on the windward facing coasts and in the higher elevations," said AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Dave Houk.

Heavy rainfall is expected across Wales and England into Thursday night, bringing a heightened risk for flooding.

Rainfall totals in excess of 25 mm (1 inch) are possible across Wales and Northern England.

"Downed leaves from Helene and Ali will increase the risk for clogged drains and urban flooding," said AccuWeather Meteorologist Tyler Roys. Areas at greatest risk for flooding include Manchester and Cardiff.

The heaviest rainfall is expected to reach the London area Thursday night and depart before the morning commute on Friday.

Aside from localized flooding, the rainfall this week will be largely beneficial following rainfall well below normal during the spring and summer months throughout the country.

Another potential windstorm could affect the country this weekend. This storm may contain the remnant moisture of former Hurricane Florence which caused historic rainfall and flooding in the United States.

A windstorm is defined as a low pressure system that is accompanied by severe weather, including flooding rain or gale-force winds, according to the UK Met Office.

The 2018-2019 windstorm name list was just released last week and features names such as Callum, Freya, Hannah and Max. The entire name list can be found here.

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