FORECASTERS are warning of strong winds and heavy rain as the North West prepares for its second storm in a week.

The Met Office predicts that Storm Dennis will hit the region tomorrow morning (Saturday), with a high chance of rain from around 10am.

There have been a number of severe weather warnings issued and experts predict that gusts could reach more than 40mph inland and as high as 70mph on the coasts.

At the moment, the storm is only expected to affect the North West through tomorrow and into Sunday morning, with the most extreme conditions subsiding by Monday.

It follows Storm Ciara which hit last week bringing heavy rain and causing severe flooding in some areas.

Met Office Chief Meteorologist, Steve Willington, said: “Following Storm Ciara last weekend and further spells of rain this week, the ground is already saturated in places.

"With Storm Dennis bringing further heavy and persistent rain over the weekend, there is a risk of significant impacts from flooding, including damage to property and a danger to life from fast flowing floodwater.

“Our advice is to keep an eye on the latest weather forecast and weather warnings for your area and to follow the safety advice from officials.”

Deputy Chief Meteorologist at the Met Office, Laura Ellam, added: “It’ll be windy across the UK this weekend – on Saturday the strongest winds will be across England and Wales, and on Sunday the strongest winds will be across Northern Ireland, Scotland, and parts of northern England and north Wales, with coastal gales of 70mph at times.

"Monday will be another windy day, but the heavy rain will be replaced by blustery, wintry showers.”