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Former Hurricane Kate to Follow Abigail Into UK, Ireland

After Storm Abigail lashes Ireland and the United Kingdom, once-Hurricane Kate will join the train of storms parading through the British Isles well into next week.

Scotland will continue to face the strongest winds of Abigail. Gusts in excess of 120 km/h (75 mph) will blast the far northern and western mainland areas overnight Thursday, threatening to cause damage and power outages. Coastal flooding and spray will result as the winds drive the ocean water onshore.

With similar winds expected across Shetland on Friday, BBC News reports that all schools in Shetland and Shetland College have been closed.

Otherwise, the strongest winds will depart the British Isles by Friday as Abigail lifts to the north, but showers and chilly winds will persist.

The showers will be most numerous outside of places from the East Midlands to South East England, but AccuWeather Meteorologist Steve Travis still expects a shower to swing through London during the midday hours.

"[Across the British Isles], gusts on Friday will be up to 65 km/h (40 mph) for the most part," stated Travis. However, there could be a few isolated gusts to 90 km/h (55 mph), which could lead to more sporadic power outages and tree damage.

As colder air is ushered in on Friday, the winds will hold AccuWeather RealFeel® temperatures well below actual temperatures, and snow will fly in the highest terrain of Scotland.

On the heels of Abigail will be Kate, which is no longer a hurricane as it has lost its tropical characteristics. It now resembles a typical non-tropical system, swinging in from the northern Atlantic Ocean toward the British Isles.

Despite being a former hurricane, "Kate will not be the worst [system] to track across the British Isles into next week," said Travis. The strongest winds produced by Kate will fall short of Abigail's peak winds.

"Kate will target more of southern Ireland and southern England than Abigail," he said. "Even then, the winds do not look to be that damaging as what they were on Thursday farther to the north."

Winds from Kate will generally average 65-80 km/h (40-50 mph), potentially including in London and Dublin, with gusts up to 90 km/h along the coast of Ireland and Scotland.

While the center of Kate will not make its closest approach to the British Isles until late in the weekend, rain and gusty winds will reach Ireland and England on Saturday. As the rain lifts to the northeast, the winds will expand in a similar fashion.

The prolonged period of gusty winds could lead to coastal flooding at southwest-facing coastal communities.

The rain should not be heavy enough to cause widespread flooding, but the rain and wind will threaten to interfere with outdoor plans and could lead to slower travel for both motorists and airline passengers.

Travis stated that the train of storms for the British Isles will not end with Kate but "will continue next week and there could be a more potent system [than Kate] around Tuesday."

"This system will be more directed at southern England and even into other parts of Europe, such as northern France, Belgium and northern Germany," he said. These areas are being put on alert for possible damaging winds.