The first storm of the year is about to hit the North East this weekend with gusts reaching up to 70mph.
Storm Erik , named by the Irish forecasters Met Éireann, is set to roll into our region in the early hours of Saturday morning.
An area of low-pressure will track across Britain on Friday and Saturday, bringing strong winds to parts of Northern Ireland, Scotland and northern England.
A weather warning for wind has been put in place across the North East between 12.15am and 3pm on Saturday with potential disruption to travel throughout the day.
What is Storm Erik?
Named Storm Erik by Met Éireann, the strongest and most damaging winds are expected in the Republic of Ireland on Friday and Saturday.
Initially introduced in 2015, this is the fourth year the Met Office and Met Éireann (the meteorological service in the Irish Republic) have jointly run the ‘Name our Storms’ scheme, aimed at raising awareness of severe weather before it hits.
Naming storms has been proved to raise awareness of severe weather in the UK, helping to spread the message and encourage people to take action to protect themselves.
We have already had storms Ali, Bronagh, Callum and Dierdre so far this winter, but Erik is the first named storm of 2019.
The next named storm on the list is Freya.
What to expect
There could be delays to road, rail, air and ferry transport on Saturday and exposed routes and bridges could close.
Strong winds will hit Northern Ireland and western Scotland on Friday with gusts of up to 50-60mph inland and up to 70mph along exposed coasts.
It will then blow into northern England in the early hours of Saturday.
The strongest winds are forecast to hit at around midday.
Met Office chief meteorologist Will Lang said: “Southwesterly winds will strengthen across the UK on Friday, so it’s going to be a windy day for everyone. Across southern parts of the UK gusts will reach 40mph widely inland, however the strongest winds are expected across Northern Ireland and Scotland, with gusts of 50 to 60mph possible.
“This swathe of strongest winds will spread to parts of northern England early on Saturday morning.
Mr Lang continued: “Where the winds are strongest there could be some disruption to transport, with delays and bridge closures possible. Large waves are expected across coastal areas where gusts could reach 70mph, possibly affecting coastal routes and sea fronts.”
Forecast after the storm
After the yellow warning period ends on Saturday afternoon, winds will start to ease but will remain blustery.
Wind gusts of up to 30mph are expected on Sunday and Monday although it should stay mild and dry with highs of 7C.
Chief meteorologist Will Lang added: “The good news is Sunday will be a less windy day for most of us as Storm Erik moves towards Scandinavia, however it could stay windy for a time in parts of north east Scotland.”
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