The UK Met Service has issued a rare red weather warning with Storm Eunice packing wind gusts of 160km (100 miles) per hour and poised to cause a “danger to life”.
The storm is currently crossing the Atlantic and is expected to cause “significant disruption and dangerous conditions due to extremely strong winds” when it makes landfall on Friday, the Met Office said on Thursday.
The Irish Met Office has also issued an alert for Storm Eunice, warning of “harsh and damaging winds” and the possibility of coastal flooding.
Another storm, Dudley, disrupted transport when it hit the UK on Wednesday, although damage was not widespread.
The government announced on Thursday that it was holding a meeting of its Civil Contingency Emergency Committee (COBR) to discuss the response to the two storms.
The Met Office has warned that roofs could be blown off, trees uprooted and power lines down as Eunice arrives, with the South West of England expected to bear the brunt.
Roads, bridges and railways are also likely to be closed, leading to delays and cancellations of bus, train and ferry services as well as flights.
The red warning, which is issued when dangerous weather conditions are expected, is in place for parts of Cornwall, on the south west coast of England and in south Wales.
Some rail travelers have already been asked by train operators not to travel on Friday.