The Met Office has issued a yellow weather warning for gales and heavy rain across the North East tonight.
Strong winds are expected between 8pm tonight and 10am tomorrow, while a rain warning is also in place between 5pm today and 8am tomorrow with 30mm to 40 mm of rain forecast within six to nine hours which is likely to lead to flooding of some sections of road and perhaps also properties.
The Met Office's chief forecaster's assessment states: 'Gales and local severe gales are expected to arrive in the west of the region later on Tuesday evening and move eastwards overnight.
'Heavy rain will be an additional hazard, especially in the north of the warning area, resulting in especially difficult driving conditions. This warning has been expanded further south across Wales and also includes the far southeast of England, whilst the strongest winds are now less likely to affect Northern Ireland, southern Scotland and the far north of England, so these areas have been removed.'
Highways England has also advised drivers to check the weather forecast and road conditions before they travel later this evening. It has issued a Severe Weather Alert for users of high-sided vehicles, caravans and motorbikes who are advised to take extra care when travelling due to the increased risk of these vehicles being blown over.
Highways England, which is responsible for motorways and other major roads in England, is working closely with the Met Office to monitor weather conditions and maintain safe roads and reliable journeys.
Drivers are advised to plan for their journey before they set out, checking the forecast and road conditions and to leave extra time if travel conditions are poor and delaying their journey if the weather becomes severe.
Up-to-date information on road conditions on England's motorways and trunk roads is available on the Traffic England website at www.trafficengland.co.uk, by calling 0300 123 5000 or following the @HighwaysEngland Twitter feed.
For information on weather conditions, visit the Met Office website www.metoffice.gov.uk or listen to local radio.