Storm Francis pummels the UK overnight as nation braces for more chaos

Storm Francis pummels the UK overnight with flash floods threatening rush hour travel chaos as the nation braces for 70mph gales and up to 3ins of rain over the next two days

  • Met Office issues wind warning from 9am today until 9am on Wednesday for most of England and Wales
  • Spell of strong winds expected to develop across the South West of England and Wales from this morning
  • Separate 30-hour alert for rain began at midnight for several areas with up to 3.5in (90mm) expected to fall 
  • Gloomy forecast is bad news for families enjoying a staycation in Britain in last weeks of the summer holidays
  • UK temperatures fell below zero overnight with -0.4C (31.3F) at Loch Glascarnoch in the Scottish Highlands

Britons are waking up to a deluge of rain this morning after Storm Francis pummeled the UK overnight with flash foods, with the nation bracing itself for fierce 70mph winds and up to three inches of rain over the next two days.  

More than a month’s worth of rain is anticipated today with forecasters warning of further travel chaos and power cuts.  

It comes after chaos in London last night, with drivers forced to wade through waterlogged roads as drains struggled to clear the torrential rain quickly enough. 

Motorists swerved into the path of oncoming traffic in a desperate bid to avoid flooded roads as high winds blasted torrential rain across windscreens. 

The chaos is set to continue today with last night’s flash floods threatening to cause havoc for rush hour travel. 

The Met Office has issued a wind warning for 24 hours from 9am today for most of England and Wales, with the strongest gusts on coasts and hills as unsettled weather continues to arrive from the Atlantic. 

A 30-hour alert for rain also began at midnight last night across Northern Ireland, central Scotland, North West England and North Wales – with up to 3.5in (90mm) expected to fall, above the August average of 2.8in (70mm). 

The heaviest of the rain is expected to fall across Northern Ireland and south-west Scotland with the Met Office warning of the potential for flooding and issuing a yellow warning.

Commuters get caught in torrential rain in Putney in South West London as forecasters warn that Storm Francis is set to batter the UK later to night with winds in excess of 50mph along with more heavy rain

South London was hit with a torrential downpour yesterday evening with Storm Francis set to batter the UK with rain and wind

A person in New Malden is given a piggyback ride to safety from their car to land

The car is nearly fully submerged in water amid the heavy rainfall that cause mass flooding

A yellow warning for wind is in place in Wales and most of England with gusts of up to 70mph predicted.

Mount Batten, Plymouth, recorded gusts of 51mph overnight. Mace Head, in Co Galway on the west coast of Ireland also recorded gusts of 51mph on Tuesday morning, while 30.8 mm of rain fell between 5pm and 11pm in parts of Co Kerry.

Fire crews were called to The Square in Bantry, Co Cork, after flooding, and one flood alert is in place in Wales, and 29 flood warnings across England, Wales and Scotland.

The Met Office has never had two named storms in August since the process started in 2015, but Francis comes on the back of Ellen which struck last week and caused power outages.

Ellen also saw 15-year-old Nicola Williams swept to her death in the Rhymney River in Llanrumney, Cardiff, and a 50-year-old holidaymaker die in the sea near Helston, west Cornwall, after getting into difficulties.

Alex Deakin from the Met Office said it will be ‘wet and windy for large chunks of the UK’.

He added: ‘The bands of rain (will) move into Northern Ireland and stick around, move into Scotland and hang around for most of the day.’

Videos being sent on social media on Monday evening show the torrential downpours which are expected to spread across the UK

Wild waves leash the seafront at Seaburn in Sunderland, as a further high winds whip up the water in the north of England

Storm Francis engulfing the UK and set to bring torrential downpours and strong winds, putting the country at risk of localised flooding


The Met Office has also put in multiple weather warnings for Tuesday (left) Wednesday (right) for wind and rain

The spell of strong winds will develop across the South West of England and Wales from this morning, before spreading east across other parts of England and Wales overnight, clearing into the North Sea on Wednesday. 

The rain warning included the threat of communities being cut off, spray leading to road closures, possible train or bus delays, flooding damaging buildings and fast flowing or deep floodwater ‘causing a danger to life’. 

Londoners took to Twitter last night and shared photographs of the devastation caused by the floods. 

Nathan O’Connor, who lives on the 14th floor of an apartment block, said three inches of water flooded his balcony and burst through into the sitting room.

Another posted a picture that showed a park in south west London almost entirely flooded with gallons of water.

Others begged for a return of last week’s heatwave. Olivia-Anne Cleary said: ‘This monsoon-type downpour in South London is not working for me’ while another user described the downpour as ‘biblical’.  

The gloomy forecast is bad news for families enjoying a staycation in Britain in the last weeks of the summer holidays, following the cancellation of thousands of foreign trips due to coronavirus travel restrictions. It comes as temperatures fell below zero overnight, with -0.4C (31.3F) at Loch Glascarnoch in the Scottish Highlands.

It follows a similar period of unseasonable weather towards the end of last week, coinciding with the arrival of Storm Ellen, which saw 15-year-old Nicola Williams swept to her death in the Rhymney River in Llanrumney, Cardiff, and a 50-year-old holidaymaker die in the sea near Helston, west Cornwall, after getting into difficulties. 

Also last week a child died in Bobbing, Kent, on Friday after being struck by a tree that was toppled by strong winds while another was airlifted to hospital with serious injuries as Storm Ellen battered the country. Elsewhere, a man died and a woman was injured after neighbour’s chimney fell onto their house in Bradford yesterday. 

One Twitter user said the torrential rain caused a flood on his balcony that seeped into his sitting room

Downpours caused a ‘biblical’ amount of rain to flood roads across the capital city

Another posted a picture that showed a park in south west London almost entirely flooded with gallons of water.

Clouds form over the Solent in Portsmouth as Britain braces for another battering when Storm Francis sweeps in with 70mph gales and torrential rain from around midnight tonight

Huge waves strike into the Cornish port town of Porthleven this morning with more strong winds on the way tomorrow 

Wild waves leash the seafront at Seaburn in Sunderland today as Britain’s next named storm ‘Francis’ approaches just three days after Storm Ellen trampled the country, leaving four dead 

The Met Office issued a wind warning from 9am tomorrow and a rain warning from midnight tonight for parts of Britain

With today looking grey and overcast, Met Office forecaster Craig Snell said: ‘This sort of weather pattern is more common in the autumn time, but as we saw from the storms last week we can get it at this time of year as well.

‘On Tuesday and Wednesday we may see gusts reach up to 60mph along the coast. This is likely to be accompanied by heavy rain which may well cause some transport delays.

‘It’s likely to slowly dry up on Wednesday – but this will only be a brief respite before another area of low pressure comes in for Thursday and Friday. It won’t be quite as windy but it will be wet.’

Next week’s bank holiday is forecast to bring more settled weather, but – in a blow to any thoughts of a fiery end to the barbecue summer – Mr Snell said: ‘There’s unlikely to be any heat building.’

There were transport issues yesterday when a landslide closed the railway line between Glasgow and Edinburgh at Shotts in Lanarkshire. Passengers were encouraged to use alternative services to and from Glasgow Queen Street.

Meanwhile in Bradford, West Yorkshire, a 47-year-old man died yesterday when a chimney on his next door neighbour’s house collapsed and fell through his bedroom roof.

A woman aged 28, who was asleep next to him, had a remarkable escape and was taken to hospital with serious but non-life threatening injuries. 

Motorists in Croydon risked driving through flooded roads earlier this evening

The road was entirely submerged under gallons of water earlier this evening as cars drove through floods

Onlookers watch this morning from behind a stone wall as huge waves crash into Porthleven harbour in Cornwall 

Wild waves leash the seafront at Seaburn in Sunderland today as further high winds whip up the water in the North of England


A spell of strong winds will develop across the South West of England and Wales tomorrow morning (left), before spreading east across other parts of England and Wales overnight, clearing into the North Sea on Wednesday (right)

The chimney pot, bricks and slates from the roof of the two-storey cottage next door collapsed suddenly at 5am yesterday and smashed through the bungalow roof next door causing devastating damage.

Recent windy weather may have weakened the chimney structure and locals said it had been wet and windy again on Saturday night. The debris fell straight into the master bedroom.

The dead man is believed to have been killed instantly and he was pronounced dead at the scene. Emergency services rushed to the home to find a chaotic scene with piles of rubble and major damage to the two adjoining properties.

Nicola Maxey, meteorologist for the Met Office, added: ‘Since 2015 when we started naming storms, we have never had to name a storm in August – and now we’ve had two in a few days.

‘There are a lot of people on holiday in the UK at the moment, going camping and on walking breaks, many in coastal locations where the winds are likely to be stronger, so it is worth checking on the Met Office website ahead of time.’

Meanwhile holidaymakers and sunbathers flocked to the beach at the seaside resort of Lyme Regis in Dorset to soak up the 70F sun this afternoon.

A paddleboarder enjoys the sun on the River Wharfe near Otley in West Yorkshire today as the country braces itself for Storm Francis

Despite the looming Storm Francis, and high winds, hundreds enjoyed the sun on Lyme Regis beach in Dorset today

A woman wearing a face mask walking along the Millennium Bridge in London in the sunshine today

A man paddles boards with a dog on the Solent in Portsmouth. The UK has been braced to expect an ‘unseasonably wet and windy spell’, as Storm Francis reaches the west of England from the early hours of Tuesday

People out punting on the river Cam in Cambridge making the most of the good weather before it turns wet for the rest of the week

No new storm is currently forecast this month, meaning the next storm will begin with ‘A’ rather than ‘G’, as the storm-naming calendar resets on September 1. 

Homes had been left without power and roads closed as Storm Ellen – the first named storm during the summer holidays – hit Britain last week.

Four people died, including a man and two children aged 14 and six when their car skidded off the road and plunged into a lake in torrential rain in County Donegal.

In Kent, police said they were called to Parsonage Lane, a narrow rural road that runs through wheat fields, to reports children had been injured shortly after midday on Friday.

A spokesman said one child was declared dead at the scene and the other was airlifted to a London hospital with serious injuries. Shocked locals suggested it was likely to be a ‘freak accident’.

A man has died and a woman injured after neighbour’s chimney fell onto their house in Bradford, West Yorkshire, yesterday

The man died in Bradford yesterday when a chimney on his next door neighbour’s house collapsed and fell through his roof 

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