Storm Ali wreaks travel chaos with 100mph winds as flights diverted, trains cancelled, motorways blocked and even packed CRUISE SHIPS cast adrift

Parts of the UK have been brought to a standstill as a danger to life warning saw bridges and roads closed as strong gusts surge across Britain and Ireland – and there's more to come.

Warnings have been issued for the whole of the UK today and tomorrow as the storm causes power cuts, trees to be ripped up and travel chaos on the roads.

Ali has already claimed its first two victims after a woman died after the caravan she was sleeping in was blown off a cliff near Cliffden in Co Galway.

What we know so far:

  • Storm Ali has crashed into the UK bringing 90mph winds, flying debris and travel chaos
  • Two people have died – a woman killed after her caravan was blown over a cliff in County Galway and a man who crushed by a tree in Northern Ireland
  • An amber 'danger to life' warning has been issued in Northern Ireland, northern parts of England and southern Scotland
  • The rest of the UK has a yellow weather warning in place with the Storm lasting until Friday
  • More than a quarter of a million homes have been left without power in the UK and Ireland
  • Schools have been closed across the country with some parents warned to pick their children up now

An engineer, aged in his 20s, was then killed by a falling tree in Slieve Gullion Forest Park in Newry, Northern Ireland.

A woman in Cheshire was seriously injured when a tree fell onto her car in the high winds – fire crews eventually freed the woman before she was taken to hospital by air ambulance.

The strongest winds should ease off tonight but the north will remain very windy with gales and blustery showers.

Heavy rain is set to sweep in to Wales, central and northern England just after midnight.

Tomorrow will see slightly calmer conditions in the north – although Scotland will still have some heavy showers and wind – but the south will get a battering.

Although it will feel fairly pleasant with temperatures of around 21C, the south of England will get increasingly windy with coastal gales arriving by the evening.

The Met Office has issued a yellow warning for tomorrow and Friday, saying "the likelihood of impact has been increased to high".

Planes have been grounded by the storm – with 75 flights have been cancelled at Dublin Airport and ten others diverted.

In Greenock, almost 500 passengers and 26 crew members had to be rescued by tugs after an Oceania cruise ship detached from moorings.

Scotsrail have also warned commuters not to travel due to severe disruption across the whole of Scotland.

The roads have also been plunged into chaos with falling trees causing motorways to be closed in some areas.

Two roads in Dumfries and Galloway were closed after trees were blown down, as a "major incident" was declared in the region.

In Dundee, the Tay Road Bridge remains closed after recording the highest wind speeds of the day at 102mph.

Now Dumfries and Galloway Virtual Operations Support Team have told parents to either pick their children up from school in cars or wait until the wind has died down.

They said: "Dumfries and Galloway is currently experiencing a major incident due to the weather. This means there is a serious risk to life.

"We will continue to keep you updated however it is likely that, in order to keep pupils safe, we will not be allowing children to walk home from school at the end of the school day."


Schools have also been closed in Northern Ireland as Storm Ali sweeps across the UK.

And more than a quarter of a million homes have been left without power in the UK and Ireland as toppled trees bring down power lines.

An amber warning is now covering Northern Ireland, northern parts of England and southern Scotland, prompting the Met Office to issue the danger to life warning.

Yellow weather warnings are in place for the rest of the UK, with forecasters warning commuters could face travel chaos as branches are pulled from trees and tiles ripped from roofs.

Meteorologist Simon Partridge said winds had already reached 87mph in Mace Head, Ireland, adding: "The strong winds have only started to arrive."

The strongest winds were expected to grow in strength over the morning

He added: "We are mostly concerned for the central belt of Scotland where the winds will become increasingly westerly and winds are expected to funnel through low lying valleys.

"There could be significant disruptions through that area due to the large number of bridges.

"The winds will hit at the end of the afternoon, the main commuting time, so restrictions will be put in place."

Mr Partridge also pointed to it being the first storm – expected to bring down a number of trees and branches that are still in leaf.

He said: "We will see a number of trees and branches brought down – the winds have a stronger effect on the trees when they are in leaf."

News of Ali comes after Storm Helene's strong gusts knocked out power for communities, with 193 homes in Cornwall forced to call in engineers early yesterday morning.

Parents have been warned to check if their child's school has been closed – however none have been listed as shut due to weather at this stage.

The unsettled weather is due to last right through the week, Mr Wilson added, but an improvement is expected early next week as drier weather is set to take hold.

It comes after a year of unsettled weather in the UK that saw the Beast from the East in February before the hottest summer on record hit.

Ali is first on the storm names list for 2018-19 announced by the Met Office and Met Eireann, which has run the Name Our Storms scheme for four years.

The season's names have been compiled from a list of submissions by the public, choosing some of the most popular names and also selecting those which reflect the nations, culture and diversity of the UK and Ireland.

The practice is aimed at raising awareness of severe weather before it hits, with polling finding almost 80 per cent of people think naming storms is useful in making them realise severe weather may have a greater impact than normal.

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