Britain’s worst late spring storm for years is hitting on Saturday – as 400-mile wide Storm Hannah’s hurricane-force 80mph gusts and 32ft waves bring travel chaos and an Icelandic chill 15C colder than Easter.
Hannah – dubbed a “midwinter storm” – is the British Isles’ strongest storm in April or May for at least four years.
This is the first time the Met Office or Met Eireann has had to name an April or May storm since the practice began in 2015.
Only storms with significant expected impacts are named.
The Met Office said gusts up to 70mph were expected into Saturday in the south-west and pushing 80mph possible in southern Ireland.
The South and Midlands face gales, with blustery conditions in the North.
Twenty-four-foot waves were forecast on South-West coasts, with 32ft waves off the south coast of Ireland, magicseaweed.com data said.
Arctic air from Iceland will bring washouts and send highs plummeting to just 10-12C for most up to 15C colder than last weekend’s Easter heatwave, which saw 25.5C on Easter Saturday and the hottest ever Easter Monday.
The Weather Outlook forecaster Brian Gaze said: “Storm Hannah will bring a mega contrast to last weekend, with nasty conditions and cold polar air from Iceland following on Saturday.”
“Storm Hannah will bring a mega contrast to last weekend”
The good news is skies clear for Sunday’s London Marathon, with 16C sunny spells.
Met Office forecaster Simon Partridge said: “Storm Hannah is more like a storm seen in midwinter, not the second half of spring.
“With some schools still on holiday and campsites full, people should take care and not get too close the sea if they want to take photos of rough waves.
“60-70mph wind gusts are expected on South-West coasts, with possibly slightly stronger gusts in southern Ireland.
“There could well be trees down and disruption to travel and ferries, with rough seas.
“It’s a complete contrast to last weekend, with 25C then but 11C this weekend for some.”