Britain is bracing itself for gusts of up to 90mph as Storm Abigail rears its head. The Met Office has issued an amber severe weather warning for Thursday (12 November) and Friday, with the north-west and north of Scotland and the Northern Isles expected to bear the brunt first.
The forecasters predict vast swathes of Scotland and Ireland will be covered by the storm, saying severe south-westerly gales will develop later on Thursday, increasing the storm force for a time as they head westerly overnight into early Friday.
Gusts of 70 to 80mph are likely, possibly reaching 90mph across exposed locations, before winds begin to ease on the Western Isles and the mainland on Friday morning, and across the Northern Isles on Friday afternoon.
Home owners have been warned to seek out weakened fences, sheds and greenhouses, trees and large shrubs, and mend them before the next spell of windy weather.
Garden furniture and smaller plant pots should also be moved to a garage or shed, the meteorologists advise, and even items like trampolines and slides could be tossed into the air during the gales. On Friday, lightning will be an additional hazard, whilst large waves may lead to over-topping along some coasts and causeways.
Eddy Carroll, Chief Meteorologist said: "There remains some uncertainty regarding the exact extent and timing of strongest winds but current forecasts suggest that this storm could have some medium impacts such as disruption to transport and so a warning has been issued and the first storm has been named as Abigail."