The first Met Office-named storm of the year has hit the UK, with forecasters warning “unseasonably” strong winds could pose a danger to life.
Storm Antoni hit late on Friday and is expected to continue into Saturday with strong winds and heavy rain forecast.
The Met Office has issued two amber weather warnings for wind in west Wales and parts of southwest England.
Forecasters believe Northern Ireland is likely to see some of the heaviest rainfall.
A yellow warning for rain has been issued for most of Northern Ireland, running from 08:00 to 20:00 BST. A yellow warning for wind is in place for the same time period in parts of south-west England, including Plymouth, Bristol and Bath.
Gusts of up to 65mph are expected to batter large stretches of the UK’s coastline, the Met Office has warned.
Amber wind warnings for west Wales and parts of southwest England run from 11:00 to 19:00 BST. In Wales, this covers Swansea, Carmarthenshire and Pembrokeshire.
“Injuries and danger to life from flying debris are possible,” the Met Office said, as it warned of “large waves and beach material being thrown on to sea fronts, coastal roads and properties”.
Met Office chief meteorologist Steve Willington said the storm would bring “potentially disruptive” weather as it moved from west to east.
He added: “Northern Ireland is likely to see some of the highest rainfall totals, with 40-60mm falling in some spots, but 20-30mm more widely.”
Persistent downpours could also spark flooding and travel disruption.
The RAC’s Rod Dennis warned drivers to be aware of “atrocious” conditions.
“The best advice is to slow down significantly to stay safe and avoid exposed moorland and coastal routes until the storm passes,” he said.
“Drivers towing caravans and trailers need to be particularly careful in these conditions and those with boxes and bikes on the roof should double check they’re secured properly.”
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