A tornado warning has been issued for parts of the UK, with wind speeds expected to reach 90mph as Storm Isha hits the country.
Rail, sea and air travellers are set to face disruption, with closures, cancellations and delays expected across a number of services.
The Tornado and Storm Research Organisation (TORRO) have now issued a ‘Tornado Watch’ covering northern Ireland, parts of Scotland and the Isle of Man.
On a statement on their website, they said: “In and close to the watch area, there is the risk of a few tornadoes, and the potent shear means a strong tornado is possible, especially across the Republic of Ireland and northern Ireland.
“Additionally, the very strong low-level flow will be mixed to the surface in stronger cores, bringing the risk of gusts of 70-80mph, and perhaps 90-100mph in a few spots, even inland. Any supercell which can develop may produce hail, which could reach severe levels, and a few lightning strikes are possible too.”
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.
The Met Office said: “Storm Isha will bring a spell of very strong winds during Sunday evening and into Monday. Disruption to travel and utilities is likely.” People travelling by rail, sea and air will also face disruptions, including closures, cancellations and delays. Some rail operators issued a “do not travel” warning on Sunday.
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.”
The forecaster has said “everybody” will be affected by the storm with nearly four inches of rain expected to fall in some regions.
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.
Air traffic control restrictions are also in place, leading to some cancellations, including British Airways flights.
National Air Traffic Services (Nats) said: “Due to adverse weather conditions across the UK, temporary air traffic restrictions are in place. Restrictions of this sort are only every applied to maintain safety.
“Our teams are working closely with airports and airlines to minimise disruption. Passengers should check the status of their flight with their airline.”
During Storm Gerrit in December, a localised tornado struck Greater Manchester with roofs ripped from houses and trees fallen onto cars.
Around 100 properties were evacuated, with residents talking of “absolute disaster” with a major incident declared.