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UK weather: Hottest day of the year forecast - and warning of 70mph winds as Storm Kathleen moves in

The UK is expected to record its hottest day of the year so far this weekend - with some towns and cities set to bask in balmy temperatures.

The Met Office said temperatures could reach up to 22C (72F) in East Anglia on Saturday as unseasonably warm air brings sunny spells to parts of the country.

A mixed picture is forecast for tomorrow - with the forecaster earlier updating its warnings to say stronger gusts are more likely this weekend as Storm Kathleen batters western parts.

Gusts of 50mph are widely expected and exposed places could see 60mph to 70mph.

Yellow weather warnings have been issued for wind in areas - covering Cornwall, much of Wales, parts of Lancashire and Cumbria, and up into central Scotland and Northern Ireland from 8am to 10pm on Saturday.

Met Office spokesman Stephen Dixon said: "Away from that warning area on Saturday, we could get up to 22C in isolated spots of East Anglia which would make it the hottest day of the year so far in that area.

"One of the residual effects from Storm Kathleen is helping to draw up that warmer air as well.

"It's not unusual for these storm systems to bring warmer air with them."

Temperatures in the low twenties are also expected in southeast England.

The warm conditions are due to the storm system and winds from the southwest bringing above-average temperatures to areas.

The highest temperature of the year so far was 19.9C (68F), recorded at the end of January at Achfary in northwest Scotland.

The Met Office's update on yellow wind warnings said: "Stronger gusts are now expected across some parts of the warning area, with likelihood also increased."

It said there was a risk of "injuries and danger to life" from large waves and beach material being thrown on to sea fronts, coastal roads and properties.

It added road, rail, air and ferry services may be affected, with longer journey times and cancellations possible.

There could also be power cuts and mobile phone coverage may also be affected.

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Mr Dixon added: "The outlook for Sunday for much of the UK is for showery conditions to continue particularly in northern and western areas again.

"It will generally feel a touch drier the further south-east you go through the day on Sunday as Kathleen gradually moves away northwards."

He added that the start of next week would see unsettled weather conditions with "rain continuing for many".

Storm Kathleen has been named by Ireland's national forecaster Met Eireann, which has issued its own warnings covering the whole country and urged the public to be "vigilant".

Cork, Kerry, Galway and Mayo are set to be the worst affected.

They are under an amber alert, meaning "very difficult travel conditions" and potential fallen trees, power outages and coastal flooding.

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Storm Kathleen is the 11th named storm in eight months, and this only the second time in a UK storm season that the letter K has been reached in the alphabet.