Storm Babet has already caused changes to Durham’s industrial coastline, experts have warned.

Yellow and Amber warnings for rain remain in place across the whole of the North East (today) as Storm Babet kicks up high winds and promises showers throughout the day.

After hitting the region late on Wednesday evening, Storm Babet has caused significant disruption across the UK, meaning events have been forced to cancel and some parts of Scotland have flooded.

Read more: South Shields pier lighthouse loses its dome in Storm Babet

In the North East, rain is set to hit as early as 9am and will continue throughout the day, with a 90% chance of rain predicted each hour from 4pm onwards.

Easterly winds will reach a peak of 25mph at 2pm, and remain over 20mph into the late evening. 

The Northern Echo: Waves crashing over the top in ScarboroughWaves crashing over the top in Scarborough (Image: PA)

Today, the Met Office predicts: "Staying wet and very windy on Friday as the influence of Storm Babet continues.

"Persistent and locally heavy rain likely, particularly over high ground, and strong easterly winds bringing gales to coastal areas.

The Northern Echo: Sea fret in Seaburn, North EastSea fret in Seaburn, North East (Image: PA MEDIA)

"Feeling cool. Maximum temperature 11 °C."

Researchers from Newcastle University are bracing the elements to document how the surging seas have eroded the landscape.

The Northern Echo: The dome of South Shields lighthouse is wiped off The dome of South Shields lighthouse is wiped off (Image: PA)

They have already recorded waves washing away fragile and toxic coal waste deposits that sit just above the high-water mark, with even heavier seas expected.

At the peak of the coal industry in the North East, approximately 2.5 million tonnes of waste were deposited on Durham’s beaches annually.

Locations like Blast Beach, near Seaham, which featured as a backdrop in the film Alien 3, have seen significant spoil erosion since industrial tipping ceased.

Now, using drones to survey the beaches and map out the changes, a research team is working to measure the changes along the coastline, particularly in response to Storm Babet.

They have already found around one metre of erosion at Blast Beach as a result of the first high tide on Thursday morning.

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Dr Seb Pitman, lecturer in physical geography, said: “We are approaching a point where the coal waste has almost entirely disappeared and this could lead to active erosion of the cliffs behind it in the coming decade.”

Storm Babet is likely to be particularly damaging, Dr Pitman said, because of its prolonged duration.

“What’s unusual with this storm is not necessarily how large the waves will be but for how long,” he said.

“We are expecting to see waves in excess of four metres high for around 72 hours.

“This equates to about six high tides, meaning the storm will have multiple opportunities to remove large parts of the coal platform on the beach.”