Belfast Telegraph

Watch: Follow Storm Ali across Northern Ireland

By Mark Bain

Northern Ireland is braced for the first big storm of the season with an amber warning issued for high winds and heavy showers throughout today.

Storm Ali is set to blow in from 8am, with the Met Office amber alert in place until 5pm. BBC NI forecaster Cecilia Daly explained: "This is the first named storm of the year, and it's only when the warning reaches amber level that the naming kicks in.

"The warning has been issued between 8am and 5pm and we're expecting the east coast area and the Ards peninsula to see winds gusting up to 75mph.

"At this time of year it's particularly dangerous as we're just into autumn and the leaves are still on the trees, so the wind causes extra momentum.

"We can expect more trees to come down because of that extra weight - more than if we had the same wind speed in the middle of winter.

"Anyone with summer furniture, bins or trampolines in the garden should be careful not to get caught unawares.

"The strongest winds will hit during the morning rush hour and through lunchtime, but there could be strong isolated gusts anywhere across the country."

Daly added: "We don't actually see amber warnings that often so obviously people should exercise caution as the first 'big blow' of the autumn can cause extra damage."

The Met Office warned: "Strong winds affecting Northern Ireland early in the day will continue to strengthen through the morning.

"Road, rail, air, and ferry services are likely to be affected, with longer journey times and cancellations a possibility. Roads and bridges may close, with fallen trees expected.

"The public is also advised to take care near to the coastline, with injuries from large waves and beach material being thrown onto the seafront.

"Power services could be impacted, with other services like mobile phone coverage also potentially affected."

Belfast Telegraph

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