GALE-force winds of up to 80mph will thrash Britain this week, with snow and torrential rain also forecast for the coming days.
The treacherous weather conditions look set to bring travel chaos and power blackouts as jet stream winds steer three low pressure systems from Iceland, the Met Office said.
After the turbulent conditions started to sweep across the nation at the weekend, there is expected to be no let up until Saturday.
Met Office meteorologist Marco Petagna said: “There is a big change in the weather on the way with this week looking pretty unsettled for many parts of the UK.
“There will be a risk of gales in northwestern regions with gusts reaching 60 to 70mph or possibly 80mph in the most exposed areas.
“It turns briefly calmer but colder on Wednesday, before another low pressure comes in on Thursday.”
Despite circling the Arctic region, the storms will pull a plume of mild air into the UK from the tropical Azores Islands off the coast of Portugal.
Temperatures will rocket into double figures in parts of the country boosted by a ‘foehn effect’ of torrents of air falling over the northern hills.
Mr Petagna said: “It is going to be unusually mild through much of the week and we could see temperatures in the mid-teens.
“While there is air coming in from quite far south, around the Azores, the high temperatures will be driven by the foehn effect which sees air fall over the hills drying, compressing and warming as it does.
“On Wednesday it will be colder especially across Scotland and the north where it will still be quite windy, we could see snow over the hills and even to lower levels at times.
“By the end of the week it looks as though the worst of the weather will remain over northern Britain with drier conditions starting to set in further south.
“These low-pressure systems will be steered in by the jet stream which is very strong at the moment as it travels across the Atlantic from America.
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“The jet is also helping to deepen these lows as they come into Britain.”
Chief meteorologist Neil Armstrong warned to brace for disruption with strong winds threatening to whip up colossal coastal waves.
He said: “There is a small chance of longer journey times or cancellations as road, rail, air and ferry services are affected with some roads and bridges closing.
“There is a small chance that injuries and danger to life could occur from large waves and beach material being thrown onto sea fronts, coastal roads and properties.
“There is a small chance that injuries and danger to life could occur from flying debris as well as some damage to buildings, such as tiles blown from roofs.”