Drivers are being advised to take extra care on Northumberland’s roads from tomorrow night, as wind speeds are expected to reach 70mph.
The Met Office has issued a weather aler, with gales, severe at times, are likely to affect the North East from 9pm tomorrow, during Wednesday and first thing on Thursday. The strongest winds will slowly ease on Thursday morning.
Waves will be unusually high, bringing the risk of localised flooding of roads and causeways, while frequent wintry showers will also bring an additional hazard, mainly over higher ground. There is the potential for disruption to travel and perhaps also power supplies.
The storm is caused by a deep low-pressure system moving slowly eastwards between Scotland and Iceland.
The Met Office warning said: “There remains some uncertainty in the track and depth of this low and therefore in the exact wind strengths and timings, however a period of severe gales is likely, as well as the potential for storm force winds over western and northern parts of Scotland. Gusts of 60-70mph can be expected within the warning area. Wintry showers could give some significant snow accumulations over high ground.”
The Highways Agency has urged drivers to take extra care in the forecast hail, sleet and snow showers, especially over the higher Pennine routes, where drivers can expect blizzard conditions. Visibility will be significantly reduced during the showers and also from the spray.
Andrew Olive, winter services manager at the Highways Agency, said: “We’re expecting high winds across the region from Wednesday morning so we’re urging motorists to allow extra time for their journeys and to drive at appropriate speeds.
“If your journey isn’t essential then it may be better to travel at a different time, especially if you’re driving a lorry, caravan or motorbike as these vehicles are particularly vulnerable in high winds.
“Drivers should also check fuel and fluid levels, electrics and tyres before setting off to make sure their vehicles are as safe as possible.”
There is a particularly high risk that high-sided vehicles, caravans and motorbikes could be blown over in the strong winds.
Road users should check their journeys before they travel by listening to traffic bulletins on the radio, visiting www.highways.gov.uk/traffic or calling the Highways Agency Information Line on 0300 123 5000.