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Saturated Saturday: Storm Antoni to bring deluge of rain with widespread flooding expected

Callan River flooding

A weather warning is in place across Co Armagh as Storm Antoni looks set to arrive within hours, bringing with it a deluge of rain – and the inevitable flooding!

While the weather is deceptively settled this afternoon (Friday), it’s the proverbial calm before the storm with a deluge set to beat down over the next 12 or so hours.

So much so the Met Office has even give the low-pressure system a name. And for those of you with any outdoor plans…it might be time to re-think those.

The Met Office says that the Mourne Mountains could see up to 70mm of rain – and it’s not much better in other parts of the country.

From late Friday night and into Saturday, Storm Antoni will also bring strong winds, although Northern Ireland should avoid the worst of the wind.

Northern Ireland will be the first to see the influence of this low-pressure system, with a warning for rain in force from the early hours of Saturday morning.

Met Office Chief Meteorologist Steve Willington said: “Storm Antoni will bring some potentially disruptive weather on Saturday as it moves from west to east. Northern Ireland is likely to see some of the highest rainfall totals, with 40-60mm falling in some spots, but 20-30mm more widely.

“Storm Antoni will also bring strong winds to a swathe of Wales, southwest England and southern coastal areas of England. The strongest winds will affect parts southwest England and southwest Wales where exposed coasts and high ground could see gusts in excess of 60mph. In these areas, gusts inland could reach 50-55mph for a time. These windy conditions will likely coincide with high tides which will present an additional challenge for coastal areas.

“Busy travel networks at this time of year and the possibility of people having made plans to be outside have resulted in the system meeting our criteria for naming, with a strong chance of disruption for those within the warning areas.”

Warnings highlight potential transport disruption and the chance of some power cuts occurring.

The RAC’s Rod Dennis said: “We expect Saturday to be the worst day on the roads of the summer so far, especially for anyone in the southwest of England – and that’s a lot of people as our research shows it’s the most popular part of the country for leisure trips by car this year.

“Conditions will be atrocious with a wholly unpleasant mix of very strong winds and locally intense rainfall. The best advice is to slow down significantly to stay safe and avoid exposed moorland and coastal routes until the storm passes. Drivers towing caravans and trailers need to be particularly careful in these conditions and those with boxes and bikes on the roof should double-check they’re secured properly.

“Drivers should also watch out for fallen trees and be prepared for the disruption they cause.

“Nationally, we estimate around 4m drivers will be using the roads for leisure journeys across the whole weekend.”

Any sign of warmer weather?

After a month of largely unsettled weather for the UK, there are some tentative signs of a change, albeit perhaps only briefly, in the dominant weather pattern for the UK later next week.

Steve Willington explained: “For the latter half of next week, there are some signals of a shift in the jet stream which may allow for high pressure to build in for southern areas of the UK, increasing the likelihood of some drier weather for a time. However, at this range, the details are quite uncertain and there’s still a chance of some rain for areas further north. As always, details will become clearer with a shorter lead time.”

You can check the latest forecast on our website, by following us on Twitter and Facebook, as well as on our mobile app which is available for iPhone from the App store and for Android from the Google Play store. Keep track of current weather warnings on the weather warning page.

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