Storm Alex tracker: Unseasonably strong winds and rain to sweep northwest

BBC Weather: Carol Kirkwood forecasts bright conditions

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The Met Office has warned Britons, particularly those in the northwest, to brace themselves for a spell of “unseasonably wet and windy” weather over the course of Friday and Saturday as the last remnants of Storm Alex sweep the country. The storm, initially tropical, brought heavy rain and substantial flooding across parts of Florida and the Bahamas before approaching UK coastlines on Thursday.

After thunderstorm warnings were issued in the UK on Thursday, the weather appears to be taking a milder turn today – but northwestern areas should remain cautious of strong winds and rain.

Calmer spells are expected further south, with some parts of southern England forecast to even reach scorching highs of 24C.

The ex-tropical storm has transitioned into a more typical low-pressure system, according to the Met Office, which could bring winds to reach around 45mph to 55mph in the more exposed and coastal areas of western Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Met Office Deputy Chief Meteorologist Jason Kelly said: “Although no longer a named storm, the remnants of Ex-Tropical Storm Alex will bring some unseasonably strong winds across the northern half of the UK – especially to the northwest on Friday and Saturday.

“The track of the low-pressure system currently looks to be off the northwest coast of the UK on Friday and Saturday.

“Winds are likely to reach around 45mph for some parts of the north of the UK, with a chance of some gusts in excess of 55mph in some exposed northwestern island and coastal areas.”

Northwestern areas, particularly western Scotland, Northern Ireland, Ireland and Cumbria, should expect to see these rainy spells throughout Friday and Saturday, with some of a “thundery” nature.

But England and Wales should largely remain dry with variable cloud throughout the day, with the sun making a strong appearance in most areas.

Netweather forecaster Nick Finnis said: “After a cloudy start in the south, with some patchy light rain or drizzle, it’s looking like it will become increasingly sunny and drier by afternoon, just the odd shower across Wales and South West England, best of the sunshine in the east.

“It is looking likely the warmest day of the week too, as that ex-tropical low pulls in sub-tropical air from way to the southwest.

The wind and rainy spells are due to continue into Saturday for the northwest, with the most northern parts of Scotland forecast to see temperatures as low as 5C.

Mr Finnis said: “Staying windy across the north over the weekend, particularly on Saturday, as that deep low continues to track eastwards to the north of Scotland.”

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He said it’s due to be “showery across northern areas on both Saturday and Sunday, heavy and frequent across western Scotland on Saturday, perhaps lighter on Sunday”.

He added: “Much of England and Wales, away from the northwest – which will see some showers, will be dry and bright or sunny but breezy over the weekend.”

Pollen levels are also expected to be high – or very high- in the south of the UK throughout the weekend according to the Met Office pollen forecast.

For advice on how to prepare for it, click here.

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