Simon King
BBC Weather Presenter

4 April 2024
Updated 1 hour ago

Storm Kathleen will bring strong winds and gales to the UK this weekend.

They will be felt quite widely from Saturday, especially in Northern Ireland, southern Scotland and western parts of England and Wales.

The storm was named by Met Éireann, the Irish met service, because more significant impacts are likely to be felt in the Republic of Ireland.

Strong south-westerly winds will also bring the warmest day of the year so far.

The Met Office has issued yellow severe weather warnings valid from 08:00 to 22:00 on Saturday.

Gusts of 50mph (80km/h) are expected quite widely while more exposed coastal areas may experience gusts of up to 70mph (113km/h).

Large waves are also likely.

BBC meteorologist Stav Danaos has the latest weekend forecast

Through Thursday night an area of low pressure around 500 miles (800 Km) to the west of Portugal started to undergo ‘explosive cyclogenesis’.

This is when the low pressure system rapidly deepens – by 24mb in 24hrs – and essentially becomes a storm system – this one named Kathleen.

Throughout Friday Kathleen continued to develop and move northward to the west of Ireland.

1 day ago
23 January

Possible impacts

With the Easter school holidays continuing people might be travelling or away over the weekend and so there is a higher sensitivity to strong winds.

There are likely to be delays or cancellations on ferries, bridge restrictions, and general disruption on the roads.

The Met Office suggests to prepare for longer journey times and a there is a slight chance of power cuts.

Most of the rain associated with this area of low pressure comes overnight Friday into Saturday.

Heavy rain spreads north-east across the UK adding to the high rainfall totals we will have already seen through this week.

As most of the rain clears to the north-east by the start of Saturday for many it will actually be dry with some warm sunny spells.

With sunny spells and temperatures getting into the 20’s in eastern England Saturday may turn out to be a nice day despite the wind

Warm wind

While it will be windy, a perhaps unexpected consequence of Storm Kathleen will be the higher than average temperatures we will get this weekend.

Strong south-westerly winds will drag in very mild or warm air from the tropics.

Saturday could be the warmest day of the year so far with potentially 21 or 22 degrees Celsius in eastern England.

Further north and west temperatures will be more like 13 to 16 degrees – though this is much warmer for northern Scotland compared to the last week when chillier air has been in place.

So while it’ll be a windy day with potential for some impacts, for most of us with some sunshine and warmth it may turn out to be a nicer day than we’ve had recently.

Temperatures will drop by a few degrees by Sunday but it will still be warm and windy.

Wet start to the year

Storm Kathleen is the 11th named storm of the 2023-24 season, making it the joint most stormy period since storms began to be named in 2015.

Spring or April storms are not common either.

Since 2015 there has only been one UK named storm in April – Storm Hannah in 2019.

It was a wet winter and we have had a wet start to this year meaning the ground is very saturated and sensitive to further rainfall.

In parts of southern England, the Midlands and south Wales there was over twice the average March rainfall.

We have recently had numerous areas of low pressure bringing rain across the UK.

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