‘Danger to life’ warnings have been issued across swathes of the UK with the union of ex-hurricane Helene and newly-formed Joyce threatening 80mph gales, torrential downpours, flying debris and floods next week.
The brutal assault could open the floodgates to a string of storms forming in the Atlantic throwing roads, airports and other transport networks into chaos, experts warn.
In an added twist, sweltering air dragged in by both systems will push the mercury to 30C (86F) after the weekend.
The entire country will boil in temperatures almost 20C higher than normal for the time of year towards the middle of next week, experts say.
Roads and bridges face closure while homes could be hit by power cuts and phone outages as the storm smashes the country on Monday night.
A huge sea swell dragged towards the UK will send monster waves crashing over defences sparking flood fears while people planning to fly have been urged to prepare for disruption.
Western Britain will bear the brunt of the attack with eastern regions likely to escape with a blustery but warm and sunny day.
The Met Office has issued severe weather warnings for wind across north-west and south-west England, Scotland and Wales from Monday night until Tuesday lunchtime.
He said: “The UK’s weather will come under the influence of ex-hurricane Helene although there are other systems in the Atlantic which may modify this particular one.
“There is a warning out from Monday night with Helene expected to bring strong winds and heavy rain mainly across western Britain through Tuesday morning.
“We expect to see winds of 80mph in the worst affected regions, however across eastern Britain it may just be blustery and otherwise warm with some fine weather.
“At the moment we are on a yellow warning but we will continue to monitor the situation and things may change due to the uncertainty of how this will pan out.”
The storm will pull a plume of sweltering tropical air in from the south pushing temperatures widely into the mid 20Cs, he said.
Unusually warm weather is likely to hold out into the middle of the week as the swathe of steamy air engulfs the UK, he added.He said: “One of the most significant things to look at with this system will be the temperatures which we expect to rise as Helene brings warm air into the UK.
“At the moment we are unsure of the origin of this air but we widely expect to see temperatures in the mid 20Cs and we could see 29C (84.2F) or even 30C (86F) as far north as Nottingham.
UK weather forecast: Hurricane Helene is set to batter Britain (Image: WX CHARTS)
“The south and southeast will see the warmest conditions and it looks as though temperatures will remain high after the storm has passed on Wednesday.”
Storm charts show Helene currently raging across the Atlantic with speeds of 65mph on a northeastward track towards the UK.
Its centre is expected to make a direct hit with Ireland and western England and Wales during the early hours of Tuesday although turbulent conditions are forecast from Monday night.
Tropical Storm Joyce, which formed west of Helene over the past two days, is expected to take a similar path in the run up to the weekend.
Hurricane charts show a risk of the two colliding before next Tuesday bringing a supercharged storm to the UK.
While Helene will have lost some power on her path across the Atlantic she is expected to pack a punch when she hits Britain.
The United States’ National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) confirmed Portugal has issued tropical storm warnings for the Azores Islands.
A spokesman said: “Helene is looking increasingly like an extratropical cyclone, with a rain shield extending from its northwest quadrant.
“Helene continues to accelerate northward, almost no change has been made to the track forecast.
“The government of Portugal has issued an orange wind warning for the Azores, equivalent to a tropical storm warning.
“Helene is expected to be a post-tropical cyclone when it approaches Ireland and the United Kingdom in a few days.”
UK weather forecast: Helene and Joyce could merge into a mega-cyclone as it nears Britain (Image: NHC)
The NOAA said Tropical Storm Joyce, which is currently whipping up wind speeds of around 40mph, will follow hot on Helene’s heels.
The spokesman added: “Joyce is being steered in that direction around the larger circulation of Helene to its east-southeast.
“Once Helene passes east-northeast of Joyce later today, Joyce should turn eastward, then begin to accelerate northeastward over the weekend.
“The global models have trended toward a faster northeastward motion after 24 hours.”
Storm Helene will deliver the full force of her assault on Monday night and through Tuesday morning, according to Met Office chief forecaster Andy Page.
Britons should brace for travel disruption, road closures and dangerous conditions due to falling trees and debris, he warned.
He said: “Storm Helene is expected to bring a period of very strong winds to western parts of the UK late Monday and for a time on Tuesday.
“Injuries and danger to life from flying debris are possible, road, rail, air and ferry services may be affected, with longer journey times and cancellations possible.
“Fallen trees may be an additional hazard and there is a small chance that injuries could occur from large waves and beach material being thrown onto sea fronts.
“There is a chance that power cuts may occur, with the potential to affect other services, such as mobile phone coverage.
UK weather forecast: Britain is set to be battered by Hurricane Helene’s ferocious winds (Image: MAGICSEAWEED
“Winds are likely to gust to 55-65 mph quite widely in the warning area, with possible gusts of 70-80 mph in exposure.”
Helene formed off the coast of Africa earlier this month and was given hurricane status after strengthening over the Atlantic.
It has since weakened and been downgraded to a tropical storm although experts say Britain could take a pummelling when she arrives.
AccuWeather meteorologist Renee Duff warned Helene could be the first in a barrage of storms to hit the UK through the second half of the month.
She said: “By the time Helen reaches the United Kingdom, it will likely lose most of its tropical characteristics, but it could still pack a punch.
“Currently, the areas highest at risk for heavy rainfall would be Northern Ireland and Scotland. Residents in these areas should be on alert for localised flash flooding.
“These conditions could cause travel disruptions throughout the British Isles, flight delays could cascade and effect other places across Europe as well.
“Several other storm systems are expected to follow in Helene’s wake through week’s end.
“Any saturation or weakening of structures and trees caused by Helene could compound with these subsequent lows.”
An Environment Agency spokeswoman said: “Environment Agency staff will monitor the situation, working closely with the Met Office.
“We encourage the public to take care by the coast when there are storms and high winds forecast.”