STRONG winds may cause flying debris and power cuts, and ruin last-minute Christmas getaway travel plans, forecasters have warned.

Gusts as high as 70mph are due to hit much of Scotland and northern and central areas of England on Christmas Eve.

Two separate yellow wind warnings have been issued by the Met Office, saying people should expect travel disruption, damage to buildings and power cuts, while the rest of the country may see showers during the day.

Forecaster Jonathan Vautrey said: “Obviously there will be quite a lot of people travelling and wanting to get home for Christmas itself.

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“Particularly with these strong winds we could see some flying debris thrown on to particular roads or railway services, so if you get a tree down then that’s going to cause cancellations and delays.

“There’s the potential for isolated power cuts which will again lead to the risk of some disruption at times.

“If you’ve got a particular train that you’re catching make sure you’re looking ahead of time if there have been any cancellations.

“Just make sure you’re driving carefully, there’s the potential that high-sided vehicles could get hit by strong gusts of wind which has the potential to cause impacts, so we might see bridges closing as well.”

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Meteorologist Liam Eslick said there may be snow on December 25 on mountains in Scotland but the rest of the country is not likely to see a white Christmas. 

He added that Christmas Day is expected to be a lot milder than usual, with the average December temperature between 7C and 8C, but the top temperature that could be seen this December 25 is 14C.

The warmest Christmas Day on record was 15.6C in 1920, so there is a “small chance” of it being a record, Eslick added.