A YELLOW weather warning has been issued for the whole of Merseyside ahead of the first day of the Grand National Festival.
Some 50,000 punters are expected to be back on track at Aintree for the first time in two years on Thursday.
Gusts of 70mph have been forecast close to some coasts tomorrow, but the Met Office say the good news is they will have eased by the time racing starts at 1.45pm.
A Met Office statement read: "Across North Wales and northwest England, winds are expected to peak during the early hours, when gusts will widely reach 50 to 60 mph, and possibly around 70 mph close to some coasts.
"Here winds will ease somewhat by daybreak, and then more markedly during the morning."
The weather warning is currently in place for Merseyside between 8pm tonight and 5am on Thursday morning.
Gates for the first day of the National meeting open at 11am.
It looks likely some strong gusts will remain throughout the first day with scattered showers too.
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Some hail could fall and even a bit of thunder may be heard overhead, with temperatures set to reach a high of 9C.
It looks like the sun could poke through as the day goes on, meaning punters can enjoy the top class racing outdoors.
The really good news is that the sun is set to shine on Friday, Ladies Day, and for the National on Saturday.
It might still be a bit on the nippy side with highs of around 8C and 9C predicted for Friday and Saturday respectively.
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