Storm Freya is set to bring strong winds, dangerous conditions and travel disruptions to Britain after February’s record-breaking high temperatures and sunshine, according to the Met Office.
Forecasters predict the storm will hit on Sunday afternoon and be severe enough to risk injuries and danger to life from flying debris and large waves.
There could also be damage to buildings and trees, with travel disruption and power cuts possible.
The Met Office has issued a severe weather warning, which runs from 3pm on Sunday to 6am on Monday.
Gusts between 55 and 65mph can be expected, with wind speeds reaching up to 80mph in coastal areas.
The Met Office warning covers large parts of the country including Wales, south-west England, the Midlands, northern England and parts of southern Scotland.
Road, rail, air and ferry services may be affected, with longer journey times and cancellations possible, and some roads and bridges may have to close.
Met Office spokesman Grahame Madge said: “What we have got is a storm developing quite rapidly to the south and west of the UK.
“It will be developing as it goes across the UK and it will be bringing very strong winds.
He added that gusts of 55 to 65mph are “likely quite widely within the warning area and there is the potential for isolated gusts to reach 70 and 80mph”.
Wind speeds will be highest in Devon, Cornwall, Wales and north-west England, Mr Madge said.
He added: “On Sunday there will be some strong winds developing by midday for parts of the South West.”
The storm may also bring snow to areas more than 200 to 300-metres above sea level but temperatures will be “probably just above average for the time of year”, according to Mr Madge.