Storm Erik is set to hammer the UK with 70mph winds – causing travel chaos, flooding and even power cuts.
The weekend gets off to a wet and windy start with strong gusts and heavy rain set to lash Britain.
Exposed coasts of Northern Ireland could see gales of 70mph on Friday morning while heavy rain could lead to flooding in Scotland, the Met Office said.
There are two yellow weather warnings – for wind and rain – in place.
The warning reads: “Whilst some places may miss the worst of the winds, inland gusts of 50 mph are expected quite widely, with some places having gusts in excess of 60 mph, more especially across the north of the warning area on Saturday.
“Gusts of up to 70 mph are likely around some coasts exposed to the west or southwest."
The Dartford Crossing and Severn Bridge were shut for a time yesterday, with more travel disruption and power cuts expected today.
The stormy weather will result in some "quite nasty travelling conditions", meteorologist Sarah Kent warned.
The Met Office has issued two weather warnings for Friday for strong winds across Northern Ireland and western Scotland until the evening, and for heavy rain in Scotland right through until Saturday afternoon.
Elsewhere, the Welsh and Cornish coasts could see winds of 55mph, while along the coast of southern England gusts could reach 50mph, Ms Kent said.
She added: "It’s going to be a noticeably windy day everywhere today.
"And that is going to be in association with outbreaks of heavy rain too, so there will be some quite nasty travelling conditions out there this morning."
Around 100 homes in Cornwall have been hit by power cuts, while fallen trees have been causing chaos in the south east.
While there is expected to be a lull in the fiercest winds on Friday evening, gusts will pick up again around midnight, when a warning for wind will cover Northern Ireland, southern Scotland and much of Northern England.
NI Direct warned on Twitter : "With a weather warning for strong winds from tomorrow morning, travel delays, power cuts, fallen trees and large waves in coastal areas could be a possibility."
Winds are expected to ease off by Sunday.
Nevertheless bookmaker Coral has made it odds-on at 10-11 that winds will reach 100mph on the UK mainland this week.
Company spokesman John Hill said: "It is going to be a blustery back end to the week where the betting suggests the wind speed could reach as high as 100mph in the mainland UK.
"The odds also have been cut on this month ending as the wettest February since records began as we are set for a lot more rain over the next few weeks."
Storm Erik was named by Irish forecaster Met Eireann on Thursday and overnight brought winds of 56mph to Cork.
An orange warning for wind has been put in place on the west coast of Ireland.
Met Office five-day weather forecast:
Outbreaks of heavy rain and strong winds will affect all parts.
Gales will become severe in the northwest, with coastal gales elsewhere. The rain clears from England and Wales by evening, leaving sunny spells and blustery showers in its wake.
It will remain very windy overnight, with further severe gales and some heavy rain in the northwest. Elsewhere there’ll be clear spells and blustery showers, these most frequent in the west.
Sunshine and showers across are forecast in Northern Ireland, Wales and central and southern England, with strong winds at first.
It will remain windy across the north, with spells of rain eventually easing to showers.
Outlook for Sunday to Tuesday:
Sunshine and showers are expected on Sunday, but with more persistent rain in the south.
There will be a cold start to Monday, then dry and sunny for most. Another cold start Tuesday, rain in the west later.
Top news stories from Mirror Online
Source: Read Full Article