Roofs could be blown off by gusts up to 90mph, forecasters warn
The Met Office has issued a rare red alert, warning of danger to life as Storm Arwen is set to bring strong winds and snow.
Forecasters have warned of travel chaos as the first storm of the winter is expected to batter parts of northeast England and Scotland with gusts up to 80-90mph.
A red warning for wind is in place for those areas between 3pm on Friday and 2am on Saturday, when roofs could be blown off and flying debris could cause danger to life.
The Met Office also expects there to be power cuts and closures to roads, bridges and railway lines.
Snow warnings have also been issued for much of northern England and Scotland until 10am on Saturday.
Urging people travelling to take the weather into account, Scottish transport minister Graeme Day said: “The whole country is going to see blustery conditions, but the Met Office is telling us that eastern parts of Scotland in particular are going to see some difficult weather.”
The Met Office names storms on the back of their potential impact, with Storm Arwen declared as the result of the red wind warning.
Stephen Dixon, a Met Office spokesman, said the areas worst-affected by the high winds would predominantly be on the coast.
He added: “As Arwen causes disruption there will also be the chance of snow in the coming days, especially in the higher regions of Scotland and northern England.
“There may also be some snow in the lower ground region of northern England, though this is likely to be short-lived and fall in the form of sleet or wintry rain.
“It comes on the back of a fall in temperature, with parts of rural Scotland and England to drop below freezing during the night.”
The RAC has advised drivers to prepare for strong gusts by slowing down and being “very careful” when passing high-sided vehicles or cyclists.
Spokesman Simon Williams said: “In extreme windy conditions, bridges may also be closed and trees may fall so it’s important to allow extra time for journeys.
“With forecasters predicting strong winds together with colder conditions, drivers should take this opportunity to prepare their vehicles for winter by checking oil and coolant levels, ensuring they have enough good quality screenwash that protects down to well below minus 10C, as well as having properly inflated tyres with good tread.”
Additional reporting by Press Association