Forecasters have predicted winds of up to 90mph and snow across Lancashire and Cumbria over the next 24 hours.
The Met Office has issued its second-highest alert - amber - with the most severe gusts in exposed parts of the county until Wednesday night.
And a yellow level warning for snow is in force until 10am.
Strong winds - ranging from 60mph-90mph depending on the location - are predicted until Thursday as harsh weather grips much of the UK.
Large waves are also set to hit coastal areas.
The Met Office said areas subject to a yellow alert will see showers turn increasingly to snow even at low levels with 2-5cm likely on ground above about 150-200m and 10cm or more possible above 300m.
A spokesman said: “A vigorous area of low pressure is expected to move northeastwards across northern parts of the UK later on Wednesday, clearing eastwards early on Thursday.
“This is likely to be accompanied by a swathe of southwesterly gales across many areas which may be severe in places. Winds will veer more westerly later on Wednesday.
“A first peak in the winds is likely over south west England around the middle of Wednesday but with the main swathe of even stronger and potentially damaging winds crossing parts of Wales then northern England later in the day.
“The public should be prepared for the the risk of disruption to transport and possibly also power supplies. In addition, large waves are likely to affect some coasts.”