A WIND warning has been issued by the Met Office for Thursday evening across West Sussex.
Gale force gusts up to 60mph have been forecast in all areas of the county – with some as high as 70mph in coastal areas – during Thursday evening and Friday morning.
Between 20-30mm of rain is predicted to fall during this time.
The winds may lead to some tree damage and difficult driving conditions, as well as some spray overtopping along the coast.
The strength should gradually decrease during Friday, though isolated surface water flooding is possible.
People are being asked to make sure any outdoor furniture or festive decorations are secure ahead of the storm.
Resilience & Emergencies Advisor for West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service, Dave Nelson, said: “We invariably experience an increase in emergency calls during high winds and stormy weather conditions.
“However, being properly prepared and taking a few precautions beforehand can reduce the number of 999 calls and help keep our communities safer.
“For residents and business owners taking simple steps like checking your garden or outside areas for any furniture, festive decorations or other items that could be blown about and making sure they are properly secured could help prevent an emergency.
“Strong winds can make driving conditions dangerous, particularly with the potential for trees down or debris flying into the road, so we advise people to make essential journeys only.”
He added: “If you do need to drive, then try and avoid exposed routes and don’t forget a sudden gust of wind can affect a car’s handling and braking significantly so reduce your speed and keep both hands on the wheel.”