A fresh weather warning has been issued for the North East, as the region could be hit with winds of up to 80mph. 

The Met Office issued a weather warning as high winds were forecast to batter the northern half of the UK on Thursday (December 21), bringing the potential for travel chaos in the run-up to Christmas.

An area of low pressure well to the north of the UK will bring winds of 70-80mph in northern Scotland, 65-70mph on high ground, and 45-55mph elsewhere in Northern Ireland, Scotland, North Wales and England north from Birmingham as well as the top half of East Anglia.

The Met Office has issued a yellow wind warning from midnight to 9pm on Thursday, meaning travel disruption is likely, power cuts are possible, high-sided vehicles could be affected on exposed roads and coastal routes could be sprayed by high waves.

The low-pressure system has been named Storm Pia by the Danish authorities, but it was not expected to be severe enough in the UK to warrant being officially named.

Here are the locations affected:

  • Darlington
  • Durham
  • Gateshead
  • Hartlepool
  • Middlesbrough
  • Newcastle upon Tyne
  • North Tyneside
  • Northumberland
  • Redcar and Cleveland
  • South Tyneside
  • Stockton-on-Tees
  • Sunderland

Stephen Dixon, a Met Office spokesperson, said: “It is quite a wide wind warning area. Gusts are forecast quite widely to be 45-55mph, possibly 65-70mph to the east of high ground in Scotland.

“The strongest winds are likely to be found in the north and North East of Scotland including the Northern Isles, with 70-80mph in the morning.”

The Met Office forecast showers along with the wind, with more rain expected on Friday.

Looking ahead, Mr Dixon said there was the possibility of snow on Christmas Day but only in the far north of Scotland.

“It looks like there will be a drier afternoon in the south of the UK for those post-Christmas dinner walks,” he said.