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Weather: Double storm warning for Northern Ireland Christmas weekend

By Allan Preston

It won't be a white Christmas in Northern Ireland, but it will almost certainly be a very wet and windy one.

Two storms are heading our way over the Christmas weekend, and the Met Office has issued warnings in advance.

A yellow warning for wind is in force for Friday from 9am until 9am on Christmas Eve, with low temperatures and heavy rain also expected.

Yesterday, a second yellow warning for high wind was issued for Christmas Day, starting at 9am and lasting until midnight.

The Met Office said the storms could result in some structural damage and disruption to power supplies and travel, particularly restrictions on bridges and disruption to ferries, with the poor weather on Sunday also "unlikely to help".

Deputy Chief Meteorologist Chris Tubbs explained: "The disturbed conditions look like continuing through Christmas weekend, with another vigorous low-pressure system waiting in the wings."

Drivers making journeys home this weekend have been advised to exercise extra vigilance on the roads.

A spokesperson for P&O Ferries said the company was monitoring the weather forecast closely and would be providing constant updates on their website and on social media.

They added: "All passengers intending to travel will receive a text if any delays are expected. We would advise all passengers travelling over the festive period to follow us on social media @POferriesupdate for the most up-to-date information."

With the high winds increasing the possibility of power outages, Northern Ireland Electricity said it was prepared.

"Our duty incident team are on standby and are monitoring the situation," a spokesperson told this paper.

No official warnings have been issued by either of Belfast's airports so far.

A spokesman from George Best Belfast City airport said that at present they could not yet say if the weather would cause disruption to any flights.

Belfast International airport was contacted about the warnings, but had not responded at the time of going to press.

It is believed that Scotland will suffer the worst of the bad weather, with a severe amber warning in place in north and western areas from Friday into Christmas Eve.

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