THE Met Office has warned that winds set to batter the north west this afternoon will be strong enough to uproot trees and cause widespread structural damage.

The agency has issued a red alert for the region – the highest possible severity – for between 1.30pm-9pm tonight.

Gusts of between 80-100mph will be worst in coastal areas, with strong ‘amber warning’ winds also stretching further inland across Cheshire.

Drifts and blizzards are likely on higher ground as temperatures fall.

A met office spokesman said: “During this afternoon a swathe of exceptionally strong winds is expected to affect western parts of Wales and then some north western parts of England this evening, particularly in coastal areas.

“Winds are expected to gust 80 mph widely and possibly reach 100 mph in the most exposed locations in west and north west Wales.

“Winds of this strength can cause widespread structural damage, bringing down trees and also leading to loss of power supplies.

“In addition, large waves are likely to affect some coasts. The public should take action to alter their travel arrangements during this spell of storm force winds.”

Red level warnings mean people likely to be affected should take action, while amber level wind warnings encourage people to be prepared for the severe weather.

The public is advised to take extra care, further information and advice can be found at