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Storm Erik set to lash UK with gusts of up to 70mph

Strong winds are forecast across the UK on Friday and Saturday. Credit: PA

Storm Erik is set to bring strong gusts and heavy rain to the UK, as the weekend gets off to a wet and windy start.

Exposed coasts of Northern Ireland could see gales of 70mph on Friday morning while heavy rain could lead to flooding in Scotland, the Met Office said.

The stormy weather will result in some "quite nasty travelling conditions", meteorologist Sarah Kent warned.

Storm Erik is set to bring strong gusts and heavy rain. Credit: PA

The Met Office has issued two weather warnings for Friday for strong winds across Northern Ireland and western Scotland until the evening, and for heavy rain in Scotland right through until Saturday afternoon.

Elsewhere, the Welsh and Cornish coasts could see winds of 55mph, while along the coast of southern England gusts could reach 50mph, Ms Kent said.

She added: "It’s going to be a noticeably windy day everywhere today. And that is going to be in association with outbreaks of heavy rain too, so there will be some quite nasty travelling conditions out there this morning."

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While there is expected to be a lull in the fiercest winds on Friday evening, gusts will pick up again around midnight, when a warning for wind will cover Northern Ireland, southern Scotland and much of Northern England.

Winds are expected to ease off by Sunday.

Storm Erik was named by Irish forecaster Met Eireann on Thursday as overnight brought winds of 56mph to Cork.