Storm Aileen: What to expect from our first autumn storm?

Storm Aileen has begun whipping up the waves in the North Sea. Credit: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire/PA Images

Storm Aileen is the earliest named storm of the UK storm season since the Met Office started naming storms three years ago.

A yellow warning and an amber warning have been issued to highlight the strong and gusty winds we can expect overnight.

Frequent gusts of 50-60mph are possible and possible 70-75mph along exposed coasts.

How does this storm season compare to the last two seasons?

Storm season 2016/2017 had five names storms. The first storm - Storm Angus passed through between 19th to 20th of November, two months later than in the season.

Similarly the first named storm of the 2015/2016 storm season was Abigail between the 12th and 13th of November.

What difference can two months make?

During September the leaves are still on the tress. This means that in the wind and rain the leaves can potentially weigh down the trees, making it easier for twigs to snap or for trees to come down.

There are also non-weather related factors. If the leaves are ready to come off, a windy spell will snap a lot of leaves off the trees and this can block drains, so a smaller amount of rain can have a bigger impact.

Another potential factor is that during the summer people are more often in their gardens and so there can be more debris lying around that could potentially become a hazard, particularly if a storm arrives early in the season.

A young seagull feeding in the North Sea as the Met Office issues an amber weather warning for Storm Aileen. Credit: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire/PA Images

How should people prepare?

While the storms across the UK are no where near as violent as a Hurricane there is still the very real potential for disruption or at the worst danger to life.

Please keep up to date with the forecast if you do decide to head out.