Storm Abigail: Strong winds and driving rain expected to batter North East

Storm Abigail heading towards the UK.

Storm Abigail heading towards the UK.

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Gusts of around 40mph are expected to hit the North East this evening and into Friday - with hilly areas set for particularly strong winds.

Storm Abigail could bring wind speeds of up to 90mph to the North of Scotland, with the Met Office issuing amber 'be prepared' warnings.

Our region isn't expected to feel the full force of the weather front but motorists in the North East are being warned to expect some disruption as gales can push vehicles off course.

Temperatures are also set to drop as the storm will be dragging cold air down from the Arctic.

Storm Abigail is the Met Office’s first 'named' storm as the forecasters hope to raise awareness of the impact of such weather conditions.

Abigail is the first on a list of winning names and will be followed by Barney, Clodagh, Desmond, Eva, Frank, Gertrude, Henry, Imogen, Jake, Katie, Lawrence, Mary, Nigel, Orla, Phil, Rhonda, Steve, Tegan, Vernon and Wendy.

The Met Office weather forecast for the North East:

Today:

A dry start to the day with some sunny spells, but sunshine increasingly hazy and thickening cloud bringing some outbreaks of heavy rain by evening. Becoming windy with gales developing on the hills. Maximum Temperature 13°C.

Tonight:

Heavy rain quickly clearing this evening, followed by a few showers overnight, possibly heavy and thundery, and increasingly wintry over higher parts of the Cheviots and Pennines. Minimum Temperature 3°C.

Friday:

Bright or sunny spells and blustery showers, the showers locally heavy with some hail and thunder mixed in, and again wintry at times on the hills. Feeling much colder. Maximum Temperature 8°C.

Outlook for Saturday to Monday:

Saturday windy with early showers then some heavy rain in the afternoon. Very windy but milder with further rain or showers on Sunday, probably becoming drier and brighter on Monday.