The UK and Ireland are bracing for the landfall of Hurricane Ophelia, as the storm makes its way north from the mid-Atlantic.
The southwest of Ireland is expected to bear the brunt of the severe weather, which could bring winds of up to 80mph, heavy rains and high seas early next week.
The Irish weather service, Met Éireann, has warned there is “still a high degree of uncertainty regarding the exact track and evolution of the storm”. A yellow weather warning is in effect.
Hurricane Ophelia is currently a Category Two storm and is expected to gain strength as it moves north east towards Britain and Ireland, according to the National Hurricane Centre (NHC).
But the colder waters of the northern Atlantic are expected to significantly weaken the storm, meaning it will not be a hurricane by the time it reaches Ireland and the UK.
Ireland and Northern Ireland are expected to be the worst affected by the strongest winds.
Western Scotland is also set to receive winds up to 70mph, according to an NHC projection.
Met Office forecaster Alex Burkhill said of Ophelia: “The forecast track takes it eastwards towards Iberia for the weekend.
”After that, indications are that by that point it will then have weakened and be no longer a hurricane or tropical storm, it will be extra-tropical.
“But then it will continue its way towards the British Isles, probably reaching us very early next week.”