Storm Agnes: What to expect as the first named storm of the season hits UK

may weather stormy cloud dursley
Credit: PA

The first named storm of the season is set to hit the nation, with gusts of 65-70mph forecast.

Agnes is set to hit north western regions of the UK and Ireland on Wednesday, with the most powerful winds expected on the Irish Sea coasts.

When will Storm Agnes hit and what parts of the country will be impacted? ITV News' weather presenter Lucy Versamay explains.

When will Storm Agnes hit?

Storm Agnes is the first named storm of this season and is currently in the mid Atlantic - it'll reach us on Wednesday.

Expect very windy conditions, which are not unusual for this time of year, with gales across western and northern locations. 

Storm Agnes is set to hit western regions of the UK and Ireland on Wednesday

What sort of weather can we expect?

There will be gusts of 60-75mph together with some steady, heavy rain, mostly across Northern Ireland, north-west England and Scotland.

There'll be big waves for exposed Irish Sea coasts.

Southern and Eastern counties will escape the strong winds and rain but will be blustery.

What does it take for a storm to be given a name?

Here in the UK, a decision to name a storm is based on strength of winds and the resulting impacts.

The decision is made by the chief meteorologist at the Met Office, which collaborates with other weather organisations in northern Europe, especially Met Eireann (Irish Met Office).

Gale force winds and big waves have been forecasted for Wednesday. Credit: PA

Is this the start of storm season? Should we be prepared for extreme weather?

Storms can occur any time of year - unusually we had wind gusts of over 60-70mph in the summer this year.

Storm Antoni brought gusts of near 80mph in August, though this was just a month ago, the new storm season starts again in September.

Extreme weather can occur in many forms: strong winds are often part of our forecast, especially in autumn and winter as we're so exposed to the Atlantic storms. 

Is Storm Agnes a result of this summer's unpredictable weather?

No. As a side note - Storm Agnes will draw in very mild air from the mid Atlantic - and temperatures remain above average for the time of year.

This September has been noteworthy for its unseasonable warmth.

It is currently warmer than July and August this year. 

The Met Office has warned Storm Agnes could bring a possible "danger to life", could this be true and if so, should we be worried?

Any extreme weather can be dangerous - we've had stronger storms and stronger winds this year.

Wednesday's gales and strong gusts of 60-70mph across the north and west have the potential to cause damage to infrastructure and trees, many of which are still in full leaf, so awareness is key. 

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To Know…