The Met Office has issued an amber warning of wind for parts of northern England from 3am to 10am tomorrow.
West to southwesterly gales are expected to develop widely across Scotland, Northern Ireland and parts of northern England early on Friday. Winds are expected to widely gust 60-70mph, possibly up to 80mph along exposed coasts and over hills.
The Met Office says people should be prepared for the likelihood of difficult driving conditions and disruption to travel, such as cancellation to ferry services and bridge closures. Some structural damage is also possible, as well as disruption to power supplies. Heavy rain and surface water will be additional hazards in places.
Winds will moderate from the west later on Friday morning.
The chief forecaster says: “A rapidly deepening area of low pressure is expected to track close to northern Scotland during Friday. There remains some uncertainty over the exact track of the depression and the depth of it, which in turn leads to uncertainty in the location and strength of the strongest winds. However, there is higher confidence now in the likelihood of a period of very strong winds early on Friday.
“Winds will be notably gusty over, and to the lee of, high ground. In addition, some very strong, squally gusts are likely as a cold front moves eastwards, affecting Northern Ireland first then Scotland and northern England, before moving out into the North Sea by late morning.”
A yellow warning of snow and ice has been issued from 9pm tomorrow to 3pm on Saturday, including parts of Northumberland and Durham.
Showers, frequent and heavy at times, will turn increasingly to snow through Friday evening.The heaviest snow showers are most likely to the north of the Central Belt of Scotland.
Elsewhere, snow accumulations will be more localised, around one to three centimetres is possible and primarily above 200metres. Road surface temperatures are expected to fall below freezing overnight into Saturday morning, leading to a risk of icy patches forming.
The chief forecaster’s assessment says a cold front will clear to the southeast during Friday afternoon, introducing a much colder airmass for Friday night and most of Saturday. Some snowfall is possible to low levels at times, especially overnight. By Saturday afternoon, showers will tend to become lighter and less frequent, with snow becoming confined to higher ground.