Britain is unlikely to suffer serious after-effects from a tropical storm currently off the coast of the United States, forecasters have said.

Bertha has been battering the Caribbean islands with gusts of more than 90 mph (145 kph), leaving thousands of homes without power.

The storm is currently off the eastern seaboard of the US and is expected to move across the Atlantic, with the remnants set to reach Europe at the weekend.

But the Met Office said today that its forecasts and those of other meteorological organisations show it is "increasingly likely that the UK will miss any serious impacts" from the tail end of the "ex-tropical" storm, although we may see some heavy rain on Sunday.

A spokesman said: "At the moment the majority of forecasts from those models suggest ex Bertha will track to the south of the UK as a relatively weak low pressure system.

"In fact it's debatable whether this is even ex Bertha, as the storm declines to such an extent as it comes across the Atlantic that it fragments.

"Some of the warm air which it drags across then leads to a new weak low which generates an area of heavy rain.

"This could move across northern France and possibly clip eastern parts of the UK on Sunday."

However, he also added: "A much smaller number of model outcomes suggest ex Bertha will move across the UK as a more distinct feature which could bring some strong winds and heavy rain. Because these outcomes are in a minority, however, they are less likely."

Sunday is set to be an unsettled day weatherwise, with rain and breezy conditions, he added.

South east England will also see some heavy rain on Friday, he said, but that is unconnected to Bertha.