Sea level pressure forecast from the GFS model through Wednesday night. (weatherbell.com)

Yet another wicked North Atlantic storm is taking aim at Ireland and the U.K. this week. Over the next 24 hours, what is currently a garden-variety low pressure system off the coast of Newfoundland will explode in intensity as it tracks east toward northern Europe.

If the forecasts verify, the storm will easily meet the meteorological criteria of a “bomb” cyclone, or one that falls at least 24 millibars in 24 hours. The minimum pressure in the cyclone is expected to drop from 998 mb on Tuesday morning to 974 mb Tuesday night, and then yet another 31 millibars to 943 mb on Wednesday night.


Surface analysis forecast for Wednesday evening, when the storm is expected to be strongest. (NOAA)

This week’s storm comes just five days after the strongest winds in over 50 years were recorded in parts of Scotland. According to the Met Office, the 113 mph wind gust reported at Stornoway Airport on Jan. 9, tied the strongest gust on record from Feb. 12, 1962. In England, the gusts peaked at 75 mph at High Bradfield in South Yorkshire at 1 a.m. Friday morning.

Related: Harrowing flight landings filmed in the U.K.

On Wednesday night, hurricane-force winds are forecast off the western shores of Ireland, with gusts peaking even higher.


10-meter sustained wind forecast from the GFS model for Wednesday night. (weatherbell.com)

Most of the U.K. is under at least a yellow, “be aware” weather alert through Thursday. An amber alert, which means residents should “be prepared” for weather impacts, has been issued for parts of Scotland, including Edinburgh, where 4 to 6 inches of snow is expected on Wednesday. Elsewhere across the U.K. and Ireland, heavy rain and strong winds are in the forecast through Thursday.

The weather alerts are widespread to account for the uncertainty in the storm track. The U.K. Met Office writes:

On Wednesday another Atlantic low pressure system is likely to track across the northwest of Britain, whilst an active frontal system comes southeast across England and Wales. This results in more warnings, this time for rain and wind. Chief Meteorologist, Paul Gundersen said: “The track of the developing low is still open to uncertainty, as is the location of the strongest winds and it is likely the warnings will be reviewed in the coming days to fine tune the areas at risk from the impacts.”

Emergency managers are not taking any risks, and plans are already in place to mitigate the impact of snow and ice, according to Mike Barton. “We prepare for all types of severe weather: we issue alerts to warn high-sided and other vulnerable vehicles of strong winds,” said Barton. “Our snowploughs are constantly at the ready and we will be treating the network with salt beforehand to reduce the risk of ice.”