The UK is blanketed by “unusual” danger-to-life wind warnings ahead of Storm Isha, with people warned not to travel amid possible 90mph gusts.
A number of weather warnings, including two amber wind alerts, were put in place by the Met Office across the country for Sunday, when the storm will swoop in.
Rail, sea and air travellers are set to face disruption, with closures, cancellations and delays expected across a number of services.
Damage to homes and buildings, falling trees, power cuts, flying debris, large waves and even some flooding in places should also be expected, forecasters warn.
Met Office meteorologist Tom Morgan said: “We’re expecting widespread gales to affect the UK, amber warnings are in place for large parts of the country.
“There’s the potential for danger-to-life and damaging winds potentially leading to some power cuts in places, some large waves around coastal regions could bring some debris onto roads and trees could come down.”
He added: “We have a wind warning in place across the whole of the UK, it’s pretty unusual for the whole of the country to be under a blanket wind warning.”
The Met Office has said “everybody” will be affected by the storm.
Two different amber warnings are in place across most of the UK from 6pm to Monday morning, saying 70mph winds should be expected inland, with gusts of 80mph on coastal regions.
In parts of Scotland, northern England and Northern Ireland winds could reach 90mph.
A yellow wind warning also covers the UK, including parts of London and the south-east, while four rain alerts were in place around the country.
Nearly four inches of rain could fall over a few hours in some regions and cause localised flooding, with nine flood warnings already in place across England.
Many train lines across Scotland will close on Sunday night, with ScotRail and Caledonian Sleeper among those stopping some services.
Avanti West Coast has warned against travel, with trains running at reduced speed, while TransPennine Express is advising passengers not to use services between Preston and Edinburgh and Preston and Glasgow in the afternoon.
LNER, advises against travel north of Edinburgh from the afternoon and into Monday, while Transport for Wales cancelled a number of services.
Elsewhere, East Midlands Railway said it expected “significant disruption” on Sunday and Monday and delays and alterations to services, while South Western Railway is reducing its trains in the west of England.
Air traffic control restrictions are in place, leading to some flight cancellations.
— Met Office (@metoffice) January 21, 2024
British Airways said: “Like other airlines, we have had to make schedule adjustments due to the adverse weather conditions across the UK and Europe caused by Storm Isha.
“We’ve apologised to our customers for the disruption to their travel plans and our teams are working hard to get them on their way as quickly as possible.”
Ferry company Wightlink has also warned of potential disruption, while the RAC warned drivers to lower their speeds and even consider delaying journeys.
Storm Isha is the ninth named storm to hit the UK since the season began in September.
Each storm is named when it poses a risk to people and they are given names beginning with consecutive letters of the alphabet.
The record number of named storms in one year is when the Met Office began the practice in 2015/16, with Storm Katie being the 11th and final storm of the season.
If there are three more named storms between next week and August, this year will mark a new record.
Cold Arctic air pushing south into North America is making the jet stream more active, the Met Office said, and because it flows from west to east, it is bringing stormier weather to the UK.