Coastal communities have been warned to brace themselves for the most serious tidal surge for more than 30 years, the Mirror reports.
Winds of around 90mph have been forecast for Thursday and Friday and the resulting surge could lift water levels above sea defences along most of the east coast of England.
Environment Agency chief executive Dr Paul Leinster said: “Flooding of some coastal communities is expected and some defences could be overtopped by the high tides, high winds and a tidal surge.
“Coastal paths and promenades will be highly dangerous.”
The agency said the North Sea coast from Northumberland to Kent and the tidal reaches of the River Trent, Nottinghamshire, were most at risk.
On the west coast, severe gales and large waves combined with high water levels are expected from Cumbria down to Cheshire on Friday.
The Met Office has warned the short, sharp, stormy spell will hit over the next 48 hours.
Temperatures could plummet to minus 4C (25F) overnight in parts of Scotland and the bitter northerly winds will leave the rest of the UK shivering.
A forecaster for MeteoGroup said: “It will turn milder at the weekend.”
Network Rail director of operations Robin Gisby warned: “The conditions could impact on our infrastructure.”
These include the North Sea coast from Northumberland down to the Thames Estuary and Kent.
The tidal reaches of the River Trent, Nottinghamshire, could also be affected.
The Environment Agency will be closing the Thames Barrier tonight to defend London, in addition to operating other defences including those at Colne in Essex and Hull.
On the west coast, from Cumbria down to Cheshire, severe gales and large waves combined with high water levels are also expected today.
People along the coast between eastern Anglesey and Liverpool have been told to be prepared for flooding today.