The second named storm in August struck Britain today with unusually strong winds and heavy rain – a sign of the end of summer and an end to the washout for stays across the country.
Storm Francis brought gusts of more than 80 km / h overnight before the expected speeds of 100 km / h this morning and a month of rainfall in just a few hours, causing havoc for commuters and vacationers.
Campers, especially those trying to make the most of the last week of the coastal school vacation, were prepared for the worst. Tree warnings were uprooted and power lines knocked down by the strong wind.
It comes after the chaos in London last night when drivers were forced to wade through wet streets while the sewers struggled to clear the rain fast enough – and other motorists turned onto oncoming traffic.
The Met Office today posted strong wind and rainy warnings for much of the UK. The storm comes from the Atlantic overnight and moves east before reaching the North Sea tomorrow.
The gusts could cause "mortal danger" from flying debris, damage to buildings and disruptions to the travel service, forecasters said when they issued a wind warning from 9 a.m. this morning that ran for 24 hours.
Rain is expected to be strongest in Northern Ireland and southwest Scotland, where it could fall as much as 90 mm (3.5 in) – well above the monthly August average of 70 mm (2.8 in) – which puts the risk local floods.
A woman protects herself from the heavy rain under an umbrella in Liverpool city center this morning as Storm Francis hits Britain
Police closed the road today during the floods at the 15th century diving bridge at Merthyr Mawr near Bridgend, South Wales
Mount Batten in Plymouth and Mace Head in County Galway on the west coast of Ireland both recorded gusts of 51 miles per hour overnight, while parts of County Kerry fell 30.8mm of rain between 5:00 and 11:00 p.m. yesterday .
Firefighters were called to the field in Bantry, County Cork after flooding, while the Environment Agency issued 17 flood warnings across England and the Scottish Environment Agency issued another ten.
The Met Office issued several weather warnings today
Alex Deakin of the Met Office said it will be "wet and windy for much of the UK" adding, "The rainbands are moving into Northern Ireland and staying there, moving to Scotland and staying around for most of the day."
The rain warning, which began overnight at midnight, affects an area in Scotland including the A83 Rest and Be Thankful in Argyll and the railway line south of Stonehaven in Kincardineshire. A ScotRail train was derailed in a landslide near Stonehaven earlier this month, killing three people and injuring six others.
Nicky Maxey of the Met Office said, “Since we named storms in 2014, we've never had one in August. Now we have two. & # 39;
She added: “For Scotland and Northern Ireland the real concern is the amount of rain that Storm Francis is holding. It is a low pressure system that is launched from a jet stream across the Atlantic at a speed of 120 knots. It deepens quickly when it comes to a position that's pretty strong for this time of year. & # 39;
The Met Office said some communities could be cut off by flooded roads and travel services could be hard hit, with parts of Scotland being particularly at risk.
ScotRail advised customers to check their trip on their app or website before traveling, while CalMac ferry routes on the Scottish west coast have been warned of an "increased risk of disruption".
A strong wind will develop in the southwest of England and Wales this morning (left) before spreading eastward over other parts of England and Wales overnight and dropping into the North Sea tomorrow (right).
Storm Francis engulfed Britain, preparing heavy rains and high winds, putting the country at risk of local flooding
Although autumn doesn't start until September 1st, temperatures will drop to between 16 ° C and 18 ° C, which makes it feel cooler than the past few weeks.
The storm is expected to clear tomorrow at noon, but forecasters said the heatwaves were unlikely to return in time for the holiday weekend from the beginning of the month.
Instead, conditions are likely to be changeable, with a mixture of sunshine and the occasional shower for most parts. The bad weather follows a similar phase of unusual conditions last week when Storm Ellen hit the UK.
The Met Office has never had two named storms since the trial began in August 2015, but Francis comes on the back of Ellen, who struck last week and caused power outages.
It has been blamed for several deaths, including that of a seven-year-old who died on Friday in Bobbing, Kent after being hit by a tree toppled by high winds.
Ellen also saw 15-year-old Nicola Williams swept to death in the Rhymney River in Llanrumney, Cardiff, and a 50-year-old vacationer die at sea near Helston, west Cornwall after getting into trouble.
Mark Spence, 47, was also killed after being hit by debris while sleeping when the chimney was blown through the roof of his Bradford, West Yorkshire home on Sunday.
Rod Dennis, spokesman for RAC Breakdown, said the storm could cause problems for road users for the next 24 hours. "The drivers are looking even worse in the run-up to the bank holiday," he said.
“At least surface spraying on the roads will be a problem, but if conditions continue to deteriorate there is a risk of local flooding and falling branches, both of which can negatively impact travel times.
“Drivers have to be on their guard, and even though it's August, car journeys seem anything but normal sailing. Never try to drive through floods unless you are sure the water is shallow enough to get through. & # 39;
Similarly, the RNLI warned people to be careful on the coast and not to go into the water where a red flag is blowing.
Forecasters said the winds were "unusual" for August but would have to beat the current record gust speed of 87 miles per hour, measured in August 1996 at The Needles on the Isle of Wight.
Likewise, August was the wettest August in the UK in 1912 when the nationwide record was 167.3 mm (6.6 in).
Between August 1 and August 22, the UK had seen a total of 72.7 mm of rainfall – about four fifths of the month's average rainfall.
No more storm is currently forecast this month, which means the next storm will start with A rather than G as the calendar for naming the storms will reset on September 1st.
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