UK

Hurricane Ophelia's Tail Due To Hit UK On Anniversary Of The Great Storm

Winds of between 60mph and 70mph are forecast.

12/10/2017 12:21 BST | Updated 12/10/2017 17:24 BST

Gusts of up to 70mph and wet weather could batter Britain’s shores as Hurricane Ophelia crosses the Atlantic Ocean in the coming days, despite other parts of the country basking in the heatwave approaching from Spain this weekend.

The tropical storm was named a hurricane overnight and the US National Hurricane Centre has warned it could strengthen over the coming days.

The remnants of the hurricane is expected to reach the UK on Monday, coinciding with the 30th anniversary of the Great Storm.

The Met Office has warned that the unsettled weather could cause disruption.

The west of the country will see the worst of the weather, with winds of between 60mph and 70mph forecast.

Ophelia is the tenth consecutive Atlantic tropical story to attain hurricane strength this season, the Met Office said.

It will coincide with the 30th anniversary of the Great Storm of 1987, which hit southern England overnight on October 15. The storm caused damage estimated at £1 billion and claimed 18 lives.

The Met Office said that the Great Storm of October 15 and 16, 1987, was a “wake-up call” for weather service providers and helped to identify gaps in severe weather forecasting capability.

Met Office forecaster Alex Burkhill said: “Ophelia became a hurricane overnight and the forecast track takes it eastwards towards Iberia for the weekend.

“After that, indications are that by that point it will then have weakened and be no longer a hurricane or tropical storm, it will be extratropical.

“But then it will continue its way towards the British Isles, probably reaching us very early next week.”

Burkhill said cold sea temperatures mean Ophelia will not be strong enough to be categorised as a hurricane when it hits Britain.

But he added: “It’s definitely something that we are keeping an eye on, for the possibility of some disruptive weather early next week.”

The unsettled weather looks likely to continue into Tuesday due to a separate band of low pressure, and will remain changeable throughout the rest of the week.

Despite the weather warnings for next week, some parts of the UK are set to experience a rise in temperatures this weekend, with some areas in the south east of the country experiencing 24C (75F). 

The balmy weather is thanks to scorching temperatures in the Mediterranean.

Areas in Wales could also see the mercury reaching around 20C (68F) in places.

But those in the north-west are expected to largely miss out on the warm spell.