After snow and ice, it's wind and rain for the North East

HEAVY rain and 60mph winds are expected to blight the region, forecasters have warned.

Forecasters have warning of freezing fog and gales for the North East

HEAVY rain and 60mph winds are expected to blight the region, forecasters have warned.

Following on from the recent Arctic blast, a band of “persistent” downpours combined with strong winds will cause havoc in the North East tomorrow.

Forecasters have said that freezing fog and gales will make for unpredictable conditions in coming days as the wet weather sweeps through.

Temperatures will drop below freezing overnight to form thick fog and create a risk of ice on the roads.

Drivers are being warned to take extra care in the morning and throughout the day as heavy rain downpours are expected with the possibility of snow showers.

Dan Williams, from the Met Office, said: “As we move into Friday morning there will be a band of rain pushing in that will bring persistent and, at times, heavy rain and there may be some transient snow with that as well.

“It would be very transient snow, however, that will turn to rain pretty quickly. Winds could be pretty strong and widespread with 40 to 50mph gusts that could reach 60mph towards the coast.”

Northumbria Police has advised road users to take additional care on the region’s roads.

They have asked drivers to exercise caution and remember simple advice such as moderating speed to match the conditions, maintain a safe distance from the vehicle in front and ensuring they have adequate visibility by clearing front and back windscreens.

The latest bout of unpredictable weather comes as the Department of Health said that the cold air, dubbed the Beast From The East, is “substantially” adding to the normal death toll.

Professor Dame Sally Davies, the chief medical officer, said mortality rises almost a fifth in winter, with 1,560 more deaths a week.

She added that “very severe weather can substantially add to this” and urged people to check on elderly neighbours.

However, some let-up is expected at the weekend as a milder front moves in on Saturday with bright, sunny spells and highs of eight degrees celsius.

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