A rain storm that will hit the UK and Ireland next week could be as bad as any that has struck the UK in the past 50 years, a new study says.
Experts have warned that severe weather is a possibility, but the latest weather forecast has been set to be even worse than expected.
A storm with winds of up to 160mph (300km/h) will make landfall in England on Sunday, with a possible storm surge of up 30 metres (98ft) on the island of Londonderry.
Weather experts predict a potentially devastating storm surge that could cause major flooding in areas including the towns of Lough Neagh, Armagh and Clonmel.
It is possible that the storm surge could reach up to 25 metres (88ft) in places, making the worst-case flooding in the UK even more serious.
“We are expecting a severe storm on Sunday,” a senior forecaster from the Met Office told the BBC.
“That is a risk we are likely to be looking at, although not as severe as we might have seen last year, when we had a storm surge up to 40 metres (122ft) which was quite a significant storm surge in the 1980s.”
The Met Office said it was “too early to say what effect” the storm would have on the UK.
The most likely outcome is that the Met office is forecasting a rain shower, but a heavier rain is possible, the Met said.
“It will be a rain event, not a storm.
We think it is more likely to produce a rainfall event than a storm,” the Met’s David Bell said.
It was a rain storm but it will be rain and not a rain.
The Met’s meteorologist added that a heavy rain event was possible because of the “strong winds and strong current” which would be strong enough to bring the storm into the UK from England.
The storm surge is likely to reach up the coast and could be heavy, with the seas up to a metre (4ft) high.
It will be very dangerous The Met said the storm is expected to bring up to 60mm (17 inches) of rain to parts of Scotland, with up to 80mm (23 inches) possible in the north and north-east of England.
It has forecast up to 30cm (98 feet) of storm surge and more than 30mm (100 feet) expected in the coastal areas.
“There is a real possibility of a large storm surge,” the meteorologist said.
The weather bureau’s forecasts have not yet been updated, but it has been forecast to bring “very strong” winds and high winds in the region.
Weather forecasting experts are predicting that the storms could bring down power lines in parts of England, with flash flooding expected to be widespread in the worst case scenario.
It could be very windy and the ground could be unstable, the BBC’s Steve Wilson reports from Londons coast.
Storm surges are not a new phenomenon, but they are now being predicted more frequently, the National Weather Service said.