Storm Francis: UK braces for 'wet and windy' Tuesday amid weather warnings

25 August 2020, 06:06

Clouds form over 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
Clouds form over 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. Picture: PA
EJ Ward

By EJ Ward

Britain has been battered by winds of more than 50mph overnight ahead of another wet and windy day on Tuesday as Storm Francis hits vasts swathes of the country.

Forecasters have warned of unseasonal August winds with the prospect of another day of bad weather facing Brits.

Northern Ireland and south-west Scotland are expected to be hit by the heaviest rain with the Met Office issuing a yellow weather warning for potential flooding.

It said up to 90 mm of rain could fall while 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."

Forecasters said the winds were "unusual" for August, but would have to go some way to beat the current record wind gust speed of 87mph recorded at The Needles on the Isle of Wight in August 1996.

Likewise, the wettest August on record in the UK was in 1912 when 167.3 mm was recorded across the country as a whole.

Between August 1 and 22, the UK as a whole had seen some 72.7mm of rainfall - around four-fifths of the average rainfall for the month.

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.

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