Bad weather and flood warnings as UK hit by strong winds

Waves batter Cornish coast at Porthleven - courtesy Steve Harris

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Gale force winds are battering England and Wales while heavy rain threatens flooding.

The Met Office has issued severe weather warnings for wind in south-west England, the Midlands and the South East, and for wind and rain in Wales.

Flood warnings and alerts are in place for Wales and southern England as the weather system moves north-east.

An 18-year-old died in Sussex after suffering head injuries when his scooter crashed in strong winds.

The rider was taken to Hurstwood Park Neurological Centre following the crash in Brighton Road, Lancing, at about 04:25 BST on Friday.

Winds have hit 40-50mph inland, while the south Wales coast, the Bristol Channel and the south coast have seen gusts of up to 60mph causing disruption in some areas.

One gust of 82mph was recorded at the Needles on the western tip of the Isle of Wight, BBC weather said.

The storm has also driven bands of heavy rain across parts of Wales and southwest England, with many areas receiving well in excess of 50mm of rain since Thursday.

And some areas have been at risk from high waves as the wind funnels through the Bristol Channel.

BBC Weather's Chris Fawkes explains how all the bad weather is because of the jet stream

BBC weather forecaster Laura Gilchrist said: "This weather would not be unusual in October or November, but as it's coming in June the trees are more in leaf and people are carrying out more outdoor activities than then, so there's more risk of disruption than at other times of the year."

And Met Office spokesman Charlie Powell warned: "It is possible there could be up to three inches of rain in hilly and mountainous areas of Wales, with lower but still substantial rainfall in more low-lying areas."

The adverse weather has led to difficulties all over England and Wales, with the following disruption:

  • In Wales, high winds have forced the postponement of races in the Canoe Slalom World Cup in Cardiff Bay. Competitors from 38 countries were due to take part in the pre-Olympic event at the white water centre
  • Ferry services to the Isle of Wight and the Channel Islands have been disrupted due to adverse conditions
  • In the South East, a ship which took part in the Queen's Diamond Jubilee pageant has been blown off her moorings at Sandwich, Kent
  • Also in Kent, reports said a lorry had its roof ripped off by wind on the A2 as it transported cows, according to the Press Association
  • A busy section of Oxford Street in London was closed for more than two hours after Jubilee bunting was brought down by a steel cable in high winds
  • The 181st Suffolk Show, an agricultural fair near Ipswich, has been cancelled due to safety concerns over the weather
  • Bournemouth Pier has been closed due to high winds
  • Bradford Mela has been cancelled due to heavily waterlogged ground conditions. The Asian-themed festival is usually made up of stages, marquees, fairground rides and temporary buildings
  • Plymouth's Tinside Swimming Pool has been flooded by the sea - the pool will now have to be drained entirely, cleaned, and refilled for public use
  • Near Tavistock in Devon, three people escaped unharmed after their car was crushed by a fallen tree
  • In East Sussex, trees and power cables were toppled and high winds caused power cuts in Battle, near Hastings

There is brighter news for much of England over the weekend, as the weather is set to improve for Saturday - feeling warmer with some sunny spells.

However, the Environment Agency has asked people to remain alert for possible localised flooding, particularly in Wales.

The Met Office confirmed that while conditions will ease a little by Saturday morning, some areas - especially northern England and mid and north-west Wales - will continue to see rainfall.

And even after the rain has ceased, people are advised to take care in potentially hazardous driving conditions, and to listen to traffic reports for advice on disruption.

The positioning of the jet stream [a fast-flowing air current in the upper atmosphere] is to blame for such wintry weather in June, added BBC weather forecaster Ms Gilchrist.

Map showing jet stream across Britain and Ireland A "decent" jet stream moving across the Atlantic can contain 150mph winds

"It should be further north. It's taken a little bit of a dip south, which is allowing weather systems to develop across the UK, but it has the potential to move back again," she said.

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UK forecast for 25/07/2014

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