Storms batter the area

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HIGH winds and rain squalls have been battering Wigan over night.

And forecasters were today (Tuesday) predicting that the gusts will get stronger as the fiercest part of the weather front moves steadily northwards.

Bridges have been closed in the South and this morning the speed limit on the Thelwall Viaduct on the M6 at Warrington was reduced to 30mph as high-sided vehicles struggled to stay upright.

Motorists are being warned of “difficult” conditions as a yellow be aware warning for wind remains in place for much of the day.

Parts of north Wales, the Bristol Channel and East Anglia saw winds of up to 70mph overnight and the gales will continue for some parts.

“While the winds should gradually ease, it’s going to stay a pretty windy day,” said Met Office forecaster Kirk Waite.

“There could potentially be some quite difficult conditions throughout the course of the morning for those getting up and heading out to work.

“The north-west of the country is going to see some quite blustery showers moving in - it’s probably going to see the strongest winds today.”

While there may be a slight let-up, Mr Waite said the best we can expect are “some sunny spells”.

Northern parts of Scotland are subject to an ice warning until mid-morning, bringing with it a risk of snow on higher ground and, Mr Waite said, some “potentially treacherous conditions on northern routes”.

While strong winds have died down after a blustery night for Northern Ireland the day ahead is set to be a wet one with scattered showers for much of the day.

Looking forward to Easter, Mr Waite said the weekend will be breezy to begin with but things should “gradually quieten down”.