The Met Office has said that Storm Agnes will “rapidly intensify” over the next 18 hours as it moves towards the UK.

It is set to impact much the UK tomorrow (Wednesday, September 27) and into Thursday (September 28).

The strongest winds are expected to affect Northern Ireland, southwest Scotland, west and northwest Wales, Cumbria and Lancashire, where some places inland may see gusts of 60mph and 65-75mph over hills and around coasts.

“These are most likely during the second half of Wednesday afternoon and through the evening,” Met Office chief meteorologist Matthew Lehnert said.

Warnings in place during Storm Agnes

A Status Yellow wind warning has been issued for the majority the UK, with a rain warning also in place for parts of Scotland. Areas southwest of Oxford, including London through to Brighton, are unaffected by the warning.

The wind warning highlights the chance of some damage to buildings from strong winds, as well as the possibility of power cuts for some. Transport disruption is also likely, with some roads and bridges likely to close.  

Injuries are also possible from flying debris and the Met Office has warned of potential danger to life.

The rain warning, which applies to areas in Scotland such as Dumfries, Wigtown, Dalmellington, Greenock and Pitlochry, highlights the chance of flooding in a few places – as well as travel disruption.

David Morgan, flood duty manager for the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA), said:

“Flooding impacts are possible, particularly in south west and central areas. Along the south west coast, we may see wave overtopping and flooding of causeways, promenades, properties and roads. Impacts are expected to be localised and around high tide. We may also see minor flooding impacts from surface water and rivers.

“Flood Alerts and Warnings are being issued as necessary and we continue to work with the Met Office to monitor the situation 24/7.

“People living and working in affected areas are advised to take care if travelling and consider any steps they need to take now to be prepared and to stay safe.

“We are also encouraging people to sign up to Floodline to receive free updates for where they live, or travel through, directly to their phone. People can also check our Flood Updates for all the latest information and the three-day Scottish Flood Forecast to see what conditions are expected further ahead.”

Steve Basterfield, national network manager at National Highways, said: “With the stormy weather being forecast, it is important to plan ahead for your journey, and if weather conditions become challenging, adjust your driving behaviour and take extra care.”

Storm Agnes is the first named storm in the storm-naming season, which runs from September to August the following year.