Winds are battering the region after the arrival of Storm Clodagh, which has prompted a yellow weather warning from the Met Office.
The wind warning covers the whole of England and Wales - and in the North East, roads have been closed and Christmas events have been cancelled.
Ireland is expected to be worst hit for the storm, with some parts of Scotland and Orkney escaping the worst.
Gusts of 70mph are forecast for some of the worst hit areas, including exposed coastal areas in the west, with 50 and 60mph gusts in the North East.
The Christmas lights switch on Middlesborough, due to take place tonight, has now been cancelled due to the bad weather. Events in Bognor Regis, Portsmouth and parts of Ayrshire have also suspended festive plans.
The A19 Tees Flyover has been closed to high-sided and vulnerable vehicles such as caravans and motorcylists, due to the winds.
Snow is expected for Scotland on higher ground, as well in the hills of Northern England today. The North East has also been soaked with heavy rain across the morning.
A number of flood warnings have been issued by the Environment Agency.
A spokesman for the Met Office said: "Although rainfall accumulations are not expected to be particularly large, rivers remain high from previous rainfall and are expected to respond, leading to the risk of flooding."
He added: "The strongest winds are expected to reach Northern Ireland around dawn on Sunday, and most areas by the end of the morning, before gradually subsiding from the west during the afternoon and evening."