Meteorologists have warned Londonderry to batten down the hatches with Gertrude set to storm into town bringing gale force winds and heavy rainfall over Thursday night and Friday morning, January 28-29.
Severe weather warnings have been issued with the North West expected to be soaked and windswept by Friday morning.
Forecasters at the Met Office said: “A rapidly deepening area of low pressure is expected to track close to northern Scotland during Friday.
“There remains some uncertainty over the exact track of the depression and the depth of it, which in turn leads to uncertainty in the location and strength of the strongest winds. However, there is higher confidence now in the likelihood of a period of very strong winds early on Friday.
“Winds will be notably gusty over, and to the lee of, high ground. In addition, some very strong, squally gusts are likely as a cold front moves eastwards, affecting Northern Ireland first then Scotland and northern England, before moving out into the North Sea by late morning.”
Colleagues at Met Éireann concurred that: “A rapidly deepening Atlantic depression will pass to the north of Scotland during Friday. It will bring a swathe of severe winds across Ireland, Scotland and northern England through Thursday night and Friday. Orange-status warnings have been issued by both Met Éireann and the UK Met Office for their respective areas of responsibility. The storm has been named Gertrude.”
Southwest winds later veering westerly will increase 65 to 80 km/h overnight and will gust 110 to 130 km/h at times. The strongest winds will be mainly felt in northern and western coastal areas.
Friday will be a bright and windy day with some sunshine and scattered showers. The showers will be heavy at times. Highest temperatures of 6 to 8 degrees with strong to gale force and gusty south-west winds.