As very strong westerly winds move into northern England, gusts of up to 70mph are expected inland while coastal and exposed areas could be battered by gusts of up to 90mph.
Residents are being warned to expect disruption to road, rail and ferry services, as well as the possibility of power cuts and mobile phone coverage issues.
There is also the chance of injuries and "danger to life" from flying debris, damaged buildings, fallen trees and large waves in coastal areas,
A Met Office spokesman said: "Very strong westerly winds are expected to develop across western Scotland and northern Northern Ireland later Wednesday and extend eastward to the most of Scotland and northern England overnight into Thursday.
"There is still some uncertainty in the timing and location of the strongest winds but there is the potential for inland wind gusts of 60-70 mph in places.
"Gusts of 80-90 mph are possible around exposed coasts and hills of Scotland. Winds are expected to ease, initially across western areas, through Thursday afternoon and evening."