A VIOLENT Atlantic hurricane shaping up to be one of the most powerful on record has changed course towards Britain.

Hurricane Joaquin has already battered the Bahamas and is gearing up to unleash gales of up to 165mph along the east coast of the United States.

According to the Daily Express, worried UK-based forecasters say the churning vortex – which threatens to rival 2012’s Superstorm Sandy and 2003’s Hurricane Isabel –  will make a beeline for Britain.

Current weather models predict Joaquin will sweep northeastwards before raging across the Atlantic, reaching the west of the British Isles on or around October 10.

Experts said the weather forecast for Britain late next week now ‘depends entirely’ on the track of the hurricane.

Leon Brown, forecaster for the Weather Channel UK, said: “The latest forecasts suggest it will run near the US east coast and past Newfoundland so arriving to our west as a large low pressure system at the end of next week and over next weekend.”

The storm shows worrying similarities to Hurricane Bertha which charged across the Atlantic to batter Britain after mauling the US last summer.

Widespread and severe floods forced hundreds of people from their homes and sparked travel mayhem across the UK.

Violent sea conditions led to the death of one man while high inland winds felled trees, closed roads and disrupted railways.

The enormous vortex has caused widespread flooding across the eastern USA.