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Storm Abigail – Britain’s first named storm – could hit the country on Sunday evening, whipping up waves, bringing winds of up to 70mph and forcing bonfire revellers to abandon their plans.
If the weather is severe as forecasters predict and meets storm criteria then the Met Office will officially name it Storm Abigail – after they announced a pilot project giving the public the job of naming weather events.
It is predicted that western and northern regions will be hit the worst over the weekend while the south and southeast will see the calmer side of Storm Abigail.
Leon Brown, the forecaster for the Weather Channel UK, said: “The jet stream will fire up on most cylinders by today and through to next week, with speeds in excess of 70mph. The strongest winds are most likely early next week across the UK, with gales around coasts and high seas.
“Some bridge restrictions and ferry disruptions are likely, with gusts of more than 60mph in exposed coastal and hill top locations.”
In September the Met Office and Met Eireann announced a project to name storms that may be blowing this way in autumn and winter. Thousands of suggestions were put forward and the winning names included: Abigail, Nigel, Gertrude, Rhonda, Phil and Steve.
It is hoped that naming storms will help to raise awareness of severe weather and ensure greater safety of the public.
Others have pointed to the similarities in next week’s forecast to the “weather bomb” that hit Britain last year, bringing 140mph gales and torrential rain.