Residents in the North West are being warned to prepare for strong winds and heavy rain ahead of Storm Aileen which is set to batter the county later today.
The Met Office has issued an Amber weather warning for wind which is due to hit in the evening of Tuesday, September 12 and is expected to last into the morning of Wednesday, September 13.
Forecasters say that a deepening area of low pressure will bring very strong winds across much of England and Wales and are warning that gusts of 75mph may be possible in exposed locations in Lancashire such as the coast and hills.
A Yellow weather warning for rain is also in place for the county which warns of 30-40mm of rain falling within 6-9 hours which could cause some disruption.
Chief forecaster Frank Saunders said: “Storm Aileen is expected to bring strong winds of up to 75mph to a central segment of the UK and an Amber weather warning has been issued. As well as the strong winds, there will be some heavy rain pushing eastwards overnight which could see accumulations of 30-40mm.
"The low pressure system that is bringing these strong winds will move fairly swiftly from west to east over the UK and although there will still be some disruption through Wednesday morning, the winds will ease by the afternoon leaving a day of blustery showers.”
There has been some speculation that this weather is being driven by the severe weather in the Caribbean and US, there is no such connection. Met Office Deputy Meteorologist Chris Tubbs said: “There are no links between the very strong winds we expect to see here in the UK and the hurricanes affecting the United States and the Caribbean at present. This system originated well north in the Atlantic Ocean, independent of the current Caribbean hurricanes”.
As Storm Aileen clears out eastwards into the North Sea, the UK will be left with cool showery conditions through the end of the week and into the weekend. The showers will still be blustery on Thursday with the winds easing as we get closer to the weekend. Within the showers there will be some periods of brightness although it will still feel cool across the whole of the UK with top temperatures only reaching 18-19°C.
Wyre Council has said that it has closed the storm gates at Cleveleys and put the boards in at Rossall Promenade. They are likely to stay in place until tomorrow.
Members of the public are being advised to stay off promenade and beach for own safety during high tides.
Lancashire County Council has said it is gearing up to keep the county moving in the event that trees and other debris block roads, and in the event of surface water flooding, and is asking people to consider the conditions before travelling.
Met Office advice during severe wind includes:
• Not to drive unless really necessary, and to travel in daylight hours if possible.
• Not to touch any telephone or electrical wires that have been blown down or are still hanging.
• Keep vehicles clear of buildings, trees, walls and fences.
• Check on vulnerable neighbours.
Phil Durnell, head of highways for Lancashire County Council, said: "We're well prepared for whatever the weather holds for us with the arrival of Storm Aileen.
"Ahead of the high winds, which are forecast overnight, we're ensuring that our highway teams and external contractors are ready to deal with incidents such as roads being blocked by trees, as well as any other maintenance that may be needed.
"We're also ready for wet weather which may accompany this, with our teams well prepared and equipped to keep the roads moving, or respond to flooding if necessary."
Any problems on the roads should be reported to Lancashire Highways on 0845 053 0011.
If there is an immediate risk to life please call the police by dialling 999.