Snow and ice were expected in parts of Scotland today after the UK faced a battering from ferocious Atlantic winds and heavy rain bursts.
The Met Office issued a yellow weather warning for another bout of bad weather in the north, and urged people to expect ‘travel disruption’ from icy stretches as well as up to 5cm of snow on higher ground.
It comes after two days of downpours and gale-force winds up to 80mph smashed Britain’s coast, overturning lorries, blowing down power lines and toppling trees.
A girl had to be rushed to hospital after she was crushed by a falling tree outside a school in South London.
But while forecasters say that wind conditions have partially eased, around 30 flood warnings have been put in place in the north of England, including in Keswick in the Lake District and the River Ouse at York.
Forecasters added that while there would be some sunny spells at times during the day in the east, more persistent rain was expected to push in from the west.
Snow and ice were expected in parts of Scotland today after the UK faced a battering from ferocious Atlantic winds and heavy rain bursts. Pictured: Falling hail and a rare funnel cloud can be seen over Kinder Scout in the Derbyshire Peak District
It comes after two days of downpours and gale-force winds up to 80mph smashed Britain’s coast, overturning lorries, blowing down power lines and toppling trees. Pictured: Rainfall on Waterloo Bridge with Westminster in the background
A huge band of Atlantic rain that battered Britain yesterday has passed over into the North Sea. Smaller localised showers are expected across the country for the rest of the day
Weather watchers have reported seeing sunshine change to heavy rain within a matter of minutes in southern areas.
The next couple of days are expected to be littered with sunshine and showers as the powerful band of rain moves out towards the north sea.
Coastal areas and high ground took the brunt of the battering through Wednesday night and into yesterday morning, when there was also driving rain.
The strongest winds were recorded at Capel Curig, Gwynedd, North Wales, with gusts of 86mph.
Meanwhile, wind speeds at Needles Point, on the Isle of Wight, and Aberdaron, also in Gwynedd, reached 84mph. Langdon Bay, on the Kent coast, recorded 61.1mph.
On a railway line in Levenshulme, Manchester, there was a small explosion as a tree fell onto overhead electricity cables at 6am yesterday. Trains were temporarily halted while the area was made safe.
Also yesterday morning, articulated lorries were blown onto their sides on the A417, at Gloucester, and the A69 between Hexham and Corbridge, Northumberland – where the fallen truck came to rest across the middle of the dual carriageway, blocking it in both directions.
But while forecasters say that wind conditions have partially eased, around 30 flood warnings have been put in place in the north of England, including in Keswick in the Lake District and the River Ouse at York (pictured).
The next couple of days are expected to be littered with sunshine and showers as the powerful band of rain moves out towards the north sea. Pictured: People walk along West Wittering beach in West Sussex
Pictured: Windsurfers surf take on a rough sea off of West Wittering beach in West Sussex.
Gale force winds of up to 80mph battered Britain’s south coast over the last two days. Pictured: A windsurfer surfs in the rough sea off of West Wittering beach
Early morning swimmers are treated to a glorious sunrise in Seaburn, Sunderland this morning as most parts of the UK saw a return of sunshine in between short showers
There was more disruption on a railway near Tonbridge, Kent, when a trampoline was blown onto tracks.
And in Halesowen, West Midlands, police and firefighters were called out after a conifer tree was blown over and became embedded around the chimney of a house.
Nobody was hurt in the incident at 3.30am yesterday but the property was being assessed for structural damage to its walls, chimney and roof.
Power cuts affected many areas, with hundreds of households affected in Truro, Cornwall, Stourport-on-Severn, Worcs., Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire, and Builth Wells, Powys.
Huge waves battered coastal areas with waves and spray smashing ashore, more than 20ft high – bigger than a double decker bus – at Aberystwyth, Wales, and in Cornwall.
The RNLI urged people to exercise caution if visiting exposed cliffs, seafronts or piers due to the ‘severe safety risk’ caused by the wind.
The charity’s head of water safety Gareth Morrison said: ‘In a normal year around 150 people lose their lives at the coast and we know that more than half of those never intended to be in the water.’
In London, where the strong winds blew over a line of Pizza Hut delivery mopeds in Fulham, one resident declared on social media: ‘London wind woke up today and chose violence.’
There was hail and thunder at some locations, particularly on high ground.
Blustery showers are expected to continue through today FRI, which could turn wintry on high ground in the north Pennines.
A band of rain is due to cross the country overnight, clearing from the south east early tomorrow (Saturday), followed by further breezy conditions, with sunshine and showers.
Greg Dewhurst, a meteorologist at the Meteorological Office, said: ‘The weekend is set to have an unsettled start but nothing usual for the time of year.’
He added: ‘We could see some strong winds during the early hours of Saturday morning and lots of heavy showers around particularly in the west.
‘But as we go head into Sunday they should become less frequent and not quite as heavy, so it is an unsettled start but as the weekend goes on the winds will start to ease a little bit.’
Yesterday’s wet and windy weather came as a study found record-breaking rainfall similar to that seen on one day last year could be ten times more likely by 2100.
According to the Met Office’s Hadley Centre, record rainfall like that on October 3 – previously thought to be a one in 300 years event could happen as often as once every 30 years without sufficient action to tackle climate change.
Meteorologists said such rainfall is currently a one in 100 years event.
October 3, 2020, was the UK’s wettest day since records began in 1891, with Storm Alex bringing average rainfall across the entire country of 31.7mm (1.24ins) – sufficient volume to fill Loch Ness.
In the wettest place, Liss, Hampshire, 78mm (3.1 inches) of rain fell, while there was flooding across southern and eastern England.
Storm Alex also brought flash floods and landslides to France and Italy, killing at least seven people. In southern France, 500mm (nearly 20 inches) of rain was recorded.
The strong winds also caused power cuts affecting 1,000 homes in Norfolk.
Meanwhile, sandbags were at the ready in Cornwall where the Met Office warned that seaside towns and villages like Porthleven could be swamped by huge waves sent cascading over sea defences by 70mph winds.
Ferry services were disrupted across the English Channel and Irish Sea.