Region braced for stormy Christmas

The Northern Echo: Region braced for stormy Christmas Region braced for stormy Christmas

THE REGION is braced for a battering in the next 48 hours as storm force winds and driving rain threatens to turn the great Christmas getaway into a washout.

The Met Office has issued a yellow, be aware, warning of high winds tomorrow and into Christmas Day.

A spokesman said: "There is the likelihood of widespread gales, with gusts 65-75 mph.

"Gusts of 80-90 mph are possible, the greatest risk being towards the northwest where there will also be frequent wintry showers."

The strongest gusts are expected to blast the region tomorrow morning with the gales dying down during the evening.

Rail ticket restrictions on the East Coast Main Line have been lifted in a bid to make travel easier.

As a precautionary measure, Network Rail, which is responsible for the track and other infrastructure of the railway, imposed speed restrictions on the line this afternoon, with electrified services restricted to 80 mph south of Peterborough.

After 4pm, services from London Kings Cross have been reduced to four trains per hour. Twelves services had to be cancelled due to the winds.

A spokesman said: "Customers with tickets for any cancelled services are advised to travel on the nearest available train before or after their booked service. Seat reservations will apply for services which depart at the scheduled time."

As if that wasn't bad enough, another spell of stormy weather is expected to blow in later on Boxing Day with gusts of up to 70 mph and continuing into Saturday morning.

However, the chances of a white Christmas are looking slim.

For Christmas Day, the winds and the temperatures will drops, with highs of 4C.

A forecaster for Meteogroup said: “It’s not looking like it will be a white Christmas in the North-East, especially not a low levels, although the Pennines may see some wintry showers.

“Christmas Day will be chillier than it has been in recent days.”

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