THIRTY years after the Great Storm, Britain is braced for a hurricane - but as in 1987, half the country is expected to escape unscathed.
Hurricane Ophelia will bring heavy rain and gusts of up to 80mph, but some areas will enjoy a balmy Indian summer with temperatures as high as 25C, forecasters say.
The Met Office has issued “severe weather alerts”, warning of potential power cuts and damage to buildings as Ophelia sweeps across the western UK.
The tropical storm is making its way across the Atlantic, and its remnants look set to reach Britain on Monday, when a spell of “very windy weather” will sweep across half the country, with the potential for gusts of 80mph, particularly in Northern Ireland.
The western fringe of North Yorkshire could be in the path of the weather front, the Met Office said.
A “yellow warning” of rain is in place until Saturday morning across north west England, with up to 50mm likely over high ground and 70mm possible over the most exposed hills.
At pains not to repeat its failure of 30 years ago to warn of the likely consequences, the Met Office said some damage to buildings was possible, while coastal routes and sea fronts may be affected by spray or large waves.
It issued a further warning of wind across West Yorkshire on Tuesday, with “a slight chance that power cuts may occur”.
Meanwhile, the temperature is expected to rise over the coming days, with 18C expected in Yorkshire and 25C further south.
A Met Office spokesman said: “The east side of the country is certainly benefiting from some warmer temperatures into the weekend. Even up as far as Nottingham on Monday will see quite widely again 20 or 21C, but may well see 22 or 23C.”
The warmest October temperature on record is just under 30C, at Gravesend in Kent on the first of the month in 2011.