Severe storms with winds up to 80mph are threatening to batter parts of England, Northern Ireland and Wales for several days.

Gusts could hit 80mph in some exposed hill and coastal areas of the country and 60-70mph elsewhere, while high rainfall will put some places at renewed risk of flooding.

The storms will be followed next week by plunging temperatures, snow and widespread frosts across the country.

Weatherman Stephen Davenport said: "People need to be careful because these winds could be strong enough to cause some damage.

"Worst hit will be the coastlines in Kent and Sussex but the whole of the country will experience high winds. People need to keep a close eye on forecasts for the next few days."

Mr Davenport said the weather would be nothing out of the ordinary: "If anything the temperatures will return to normal for this time of year by next week. It has been a very warm January so far so people will feel the cold more."

© Independent Television News Limited 2007.