A “danger to life” weather alert has been issued just days after forecasters said Britain could enjoy its hottest summer in 12 years.
The Met Office on Wednesday issued a yellow weather warning saying winds of up to 60mph are set to batter the north east, north west and Yorkshire as storm Hector hits in the coming days.
Forecasters also warned of a risk to life in coastal areas from large waves and beach material being thrown onto sea fronts, as well as flying debris, power cuts and road and rail chaos.
A Met Office spokesperson said: “In addition, a spell of heavy rain will accompany the wind with the highest rainfall totals over parts of western Scotland.
“Within the warning area, the greatest potential for disruption is likely to be in northern parts of Northern Ireland around rush hour on Thursday and later in the morning across southern and central parts of Scotland.
“It is possible that amber warnings may be issued for some areas later on Wednesday or early on Thursday if this risk increases further.”
Meanwhile, Londoners are set to enjoy temperatures of around 22C today and Thursday, before the mercury drops a few degrees on Friday ahead of a lousy weekend of weather.
Both days are expected to be rainy, with sunshine not expected until Sunday afternoon.
Next week, experts predict the sun will return to the capital and parts of the south east with a mini-heatwave bringing highs of 25C.
Forecaster Craig Snell told the Evening Standard that highs of 23C or 24C are likely on Monday and Tuesday, before it reaches 25C on Friday, June 22.
On Monday the Met Office said temperatures will peak at 33C in July but warm or hot spells would continue throughout the summer months in the UK.
Changeable weather will remain a fixture, with some showery interludes expected, but forecasters agree that June, July and August will be warmer than average, following the hottest May on record.
“For June-August, above-average temperatures are more likely than below-average temperatures,” the spokesperson added.
“The probability the UK average temperature for June-August will fall into the warmest of our five categories is 40%.”