Flood warnings have been issued across the country as Britain braces for the arrival of Storm Atiyah.
Severe gales of up to 70mph threaten to bring travel disruption and power cuts in western England and Wales from 3pm on Sunday.
The Met Office issued a yellow weather warning lasting until 9am on Monday – although it could be extended as the storm moves eastwards.
Seven flood warnings and 42 flood alerts have also been issued by the Environment Agency for parts of England and Scotland due to rising river levels.
It comes after more than a month of severe flooding across the UK as a result of torrential rain.
Storm Atiyah, named by the Irish meteorological service Met Eireann, is the first named storm of the season.
It is expected to bring winds of up to 60mph inland and up to 70mph on the coast and could trigger delays on the roads and railways.
The Met Office has warned that there is a possibility of some short term loss of power and other services and some damage to temporary structures.
”Christmas markets with loose items, loose structures, it’s one of those to check is everything secure – your Christmas lights, inflatable Santas,” said Sophie Yeomans, a Met Office meteorologist.
Ms Yeomans also urged the public to “take care around the coast” due to large waves, adding: ”Make sure that you’re aware of those wind warnings.”
The storm is expected to move to the east coast of north England and Scotland in the early hours of Monday morning with gusts up to 55mph.
Another wet and windy spell is expected in the middle of next week.
Additional reporting by Press Association
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