CHAOS is expected across Essex as the county prepares to welcome in the new year, weather forecasters have warned.

The Met Office has issued an 18-hour yellow weather warning for wind, which includes most of Essex, including Chelmsford, Witham, Colchester, Basildon, and coastal areas across the county including Southend and Clacton.

It warned that delays to flights from Southend Airport and ferries are likely as well as issues on some roads and train lines.

Coastal routes, sea fronts, and seaside communities are also likely to be affected by sea spray and large waves.

The warning does not include the Uttlesford district, home to Stansted Airport, as well as much of the Braintree and Epping Forest districts.

The warning is in place between 11am on Saturday and 3am on Sunday.

What is the latest weather forecast for Essex?

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The latest forecast from the Met Office says: “An active cold front will move east across England and Wales during Saturday and into Sunday and will be characterised by strong winds and some heavy rain.

“Gusts of 45-50mph widely, but squally near the cold front with some gusts around 60mph, whilst the strongest gusts are likely near coasts in the west and south, with 65-75mph in places.”

What should I do to prepare?

The Met Office has suggested anyone living in the affected area should prepare in advance for power cuts.

It said: “It’s easy to do; consider gathering torches and batteries, a mobile phone power pack and other essential items.

“If you are on the coast, stay safe during stormy weather by being aware of large waves. Even from the shore large breaking waves can sweep you off your feet and out to sea.

“Take care if walking near cliffs; know your route and keep dogs on a lead. In an emergency, call 999 and ask for the coastguard.”