Gales blow in for New Year

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Gales which battered the country over Christmas were set to return last night, ushering in a stormy start to the New Year.

Experts said the storms would be less severe than those which hit the country last week but warned they could gain force over the next few days.

The north-west and Scotland were expected to be the hardest hit, with rain and winds of up to 70mph forecast. Temperatures were expected to be mild - up to 12C (54F) - but will feel colder because of the strong southerly winds.