Northumberland is battening down the hatches for three days of severe weather conditions, starting tonight.
The Met Office yellow warnings for severe conditions, which were initially released on Monday, have been extended to Sunday and now include blizzard conditions over higher ground.
Tonight will see the start of strong winds, with gusts reaching 60-70mph, caused by a ‘vigorous depression’ which is developing over the Atlantic now in association with a very strong jet stream.
Further north in Scotland, the warnings have been upgraded to amber, the second highest of the three levels, with gusts predicted to reach 100mph.
Winds should quickly ease from the west tomorrow morning, but the Met Office has said that gusts of 60 to 70mph still bring the potential for some localised wind damage and disruption.
On Saturday, heavy showers are likely across Northumberland, these falling as snow at low levels across much of Scotland and Northern Ireland, but over high ground further south. Within the area, there could be localised small snow accumulations away from immediate coasts at low levels in the north, while over high ground 5-15cm may occur in places. Temperatures will fall significantly during Saturday, this also posing the risk of ice where showers occur.
The strong, cold, unstable north-westerly airstream is predicted to affect the region into Sunday morning, bringing showers across many northern and western regions, some of which may be heavy.
The Met Office is asking the public to be aware of the risk of some difficult driving conditions and says they should keep up to date with the latest warnings.