Storm Agnes: Autumn arrives with wild weather ahead

Wind gusts reached 100mph over the Cairngorms.

Over the weekend squirrels were busy collecting up chestnuts, trees were straining in the winds, leaves were flying past the window, and small branches were littering the roads.

There’s no doubt that autumn is well and truly here.

Winds have picked up significantly in the last few days with gusts reaching 100mph over the Cairngorms on Sunday and just over 60mph near Lanark.

All pretty normal stuff for autumn, but it’s certainly the first proper spell of wild weather of the season, and it’s always much more noticeable when the trees are still in full leaf.

The Met Office named a storm which will approach the UK on Wednesday and Thursday as Storm Agnes.

Like all storms a few days out, there’s always several possible tracks it could take, but at this stage it looks like the most probable one takes Agnes from the south of Ireland on Wednesday and then to cross Scotland on Thursday morning.

The strongest winds will be around the southern flank of the storm system with the strongest gusts affecting the western fringes of England, Wales and Scotland and the southern eastern coasts of Ireland.

For us, gusts across Scotland will be around 40-60mph widely, but there’s a risk of gusts around 75mph across Dumfries and Galloway, Ayrshire, Inverclyde as well as Argyll and Bute, especially the Hebrides.

With trees still pretty much in full leaf this increases the risk of branches coming down in winds this strong, which if they fall onto railway tracks or roads could lead to delays.

It’s also very likely that there will be ferry disruption around the middle of the week, especially to and from Ireland and the Hebrides.

Agnes will also bring another bout of heavy rain, and at this time of year, with the addition of leaf fall and blocked drains, this leads to an increased risk of flooded roads.

The weather should settle a little later in the week, but beyond that is a lot more uncertain with some computer models continuing with the windy and occasionally stormy theme while others indicate a more settled period.

While we have this divergence longer term forecasting is tricky, but for now it’s unsettled and wet, but it should at least be a fairly mild week ahead.

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