The Met Office has issued a yellow and amber weather warning for Storm Ali, which is the first named storm of 2018 and was jointly christened by the Met Office and the Irish meteorological service Met Eireann.
The weather warning for Storm Ali is from 6.00 to 22.00 on Wednesday and covers Scotland, northern England, North Wales and Northern Ireland, with amber issued for northern England and southern and central Scotland.
Sunderland is set to be hit by strong winds tomorrow, with a Met Office yellow weather warning in place from 6am to 10pm.
Wednesday could see winds of 60-70mph, the forecaster said, adding: "Certainly we could see close to 80mph, possibly even higher miles per hour in exposed areas in the far north of the country".
"As this is the first spell of very strong winds of the season, and given that most trees are still in full leaf, we are likely to see some risky conditions with falling trees and flying branches and other debris likely".
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Journeys by road, rail and air are likely to be disrupted and the conditions could also damage buildings, lead to power cuts and blow over trees.
Strong winds affecting parts of Northern Ireland early in the day will continue to strengthen through the morning and then extend across many parts of Scotland and northern England and northwest Wales.
"We've got rain now across Scotland, northern England, eastern parts of Northern Ireland, associated with what was Storm Helene", Mr Hall said. The gusty winds will be accompanied in places by heavy, squally showers, making driving conditions hard.
Another spell of wet and windy weather is also possible over the weekend, with quieter conditions now expected to follow for next week.