London: Hurricane-force winds and heavy rains have been forecast for tomorrow as Britain braces for its worst storm since 1987.
The storm, which has been named St Jude after the patron saint of lost causes whose feast day falls tomorrow, is expected to leave a trail of destruction in its wake.
Frank Saunders, chief forecaster at the UK`s Met Office, said, "We are confident that a severe storm will affect Britain on Sunday night and Monday. We are now looking at refining the details about which areas will see the strongest winds and the heaviest rain."
The Met Office has issued an amber alert warning and gusts of up to 80 mph (120 kmh) are predicted in the south-west of England, moving north and eastwards overnight today.
There are fears of falling trees, buildings being damaged and disruption to power supplies and travel.
Roads may be hit by flash flooding, bringing rush hour traffic tomorrow morning to a halt, and homes could be flooded.
BBC Weather presenter Nick Miller said the storm is in a "developing and deepening" area of low pressure in the Atlantic which developed off the east coast of the US.
He said, "there are still some uncertainties" about just how strong the winds will be, but a heavy band of rain across England and Wales would result in standing water and spray during rush hour tomorrow.
The worst of the storm will have moved into the North Sea by lunchtime tomorrow, he added.
But the storm is expected to intensify near the coast before it strikes with full force, with a strong jetstream and warm air close to the UK contributing to its development and strength.
St Jude is being compared to the "Great Storm of 1987", which had flattened trees, knocked out power and left 22 people dead in England and France.