Scotland's weather: Why has it changed from Storm Helene to Ali?

An amber warning is in place for central Scotland.
An amber warning is in place for central Scotland.
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Heavy winds are set to batter Scotland tomorrow as Storm Ali - the first of the season - makes its presence felt.

The Met Office has now issued an amber "be prepared" weather warning for large parts of central Scotland, due to last from 8am to 5pm tomorrow, while a yellow "be aware" warning will be in force for all of Scotland until 10pm.

Gusts of up to 75mph are expected to hit lower-lying parts of central Scotland, with the potential for 85mph winds on higher ground.

READ MORE: Major travel disruption expected as Storm Ali set to batter Scotland
READ MORE: Storm Ali: Amber warning as 80mph winds poised to batter Scotland
It comes after the downgrading of Storm Helene, which is now moving away towards the north east. Initially, forecasters suggested the storm may pose a risk to life but the effects have been weaker than expected.

But why the jump from Helene to Ali?

Last week the Met Office issued its A-Z list of storm names. Ali is listed as the first storm of the 2018-19 season.

Met Office spokeswoman Bonnie Diamond explained that Helene was first named as a hurricane by a meteorological centre outside of the UK, and that although the name is kept it is treated as separate from their list.

Hurricane Helene was formerly one of a number of tropical storms brewing in the Atlantic off the coast of the United States.

Travel disruption

Major travel disruption is expected on planes, trains and ferries tomorrow as Storm Ali sweeps across the country.

Ms Diamond warned that bridges may also be forced to close and that large waves will affect coastal roads, with trees at more risk of being uprooted by high winds as they are still in full leaf.

Airports within the amber zone may also be hit by delays, while most of the CalMac ferry fleet will be subject to disruption or cancellation tomorrow.