Parts of the UK are facing travel disruption as Storm Doris arrives with winds reaching 94mph.
There are severe weather warnings for some of northern England, East Anglia, north Wales and the Midlands, and there is snow in higher areas in Scotland.
Flights have been cancelled at Heathrow Airport and commuters have been warned to expect road and rail delays.
About 7,000 homes and businesses are without power in Northern Ireland due to trees falling onto overhead lines.
Disruption so far
- Highways England has closed the Dartford Crossing linking Kent and Essex because of strong winds
- Traffic Scotland said snow had closed the M80 northbound after junction five at Achinkilns and southbound from junction nine at Bannockburn
- Heathrow has flagged 77 flights as cancelled on its website and says its schedule has been reduced by 10% because of the poor weather
- Aer Lingus has cancelled almost all flights between the UK and the Republic of Ireland
- Speed limits of 50mph have been imposed on several train lines affecting Arrival Trains Wales, Chiltern Railways, East Midlands Trains, Grand Central, Great Northern, South West, and Southeastern services
- The Port of Liverpool has been closed due to strong winds
Heathrow has advised passengers to check their flight status before travelling to the airport.
A spokeswoman said: “With Heathrow operating at more than 99% capacity, there are no gaps in the schedule that can be used for delayed flights and as a result some passengers travelling may experience disruption to their journeys.”
Building damage and interruptions to power supplies are possible from the storm, and anyone affected by power cuts is encouraged to dial 105 for further information.
Northern Ireland Electricity Networks were able to restore supplies to around 14,000 customers hit by Storm Doris on Thursday morning.
The severe gusts of winds are said to be caused by a “weather bomb” – a very intense area of low pressure which “explodes” when it travels underneath a powerful jet stream.
Snowfall is expected on higher ground in Scotland, affecting Falkirk, South Lanarkshire, East Ayrshire, North Lanarkshire, Edinburgh, Dumfries and Galloway and the Lothian region.
Heavy rain is also likely across the UK, with some snow likely on high ground in parts of north Wales, north-west England, the Midlands, Yorkshire and East Anglia.
The strongest winds are expected to be “short-lived” and gone by the evening.
Forecasters say there is a risk of flooding in Northern Ireland, and possibly at lower levels in northern England and the south of Scotland.
However, the Environment Agency said it had not issued any flood warnings for the UK.
More rain and wind is expected to continue through to the weekend and into next week but will not reach the same level as Storm Doris.
The Met Office has issued a yellow weather warning for ice affecting northern England, the Midlands, Northern Ireland and Scotland on Friday.
Doris is the latest storm to be named by the Met Office, and follows Angus in November and December’s Barbara and Conor.
All the previous storms brought with them high winds with gusts reaching between 80mph to 106mph.
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