A number of tornadoes have struck parts of Wales and the Midlands, causing damage to buildings and cars.
Winds of up to 94mph have been recorded in parts of Wales, with the seaside town of Aberystwyth bearing the brunt.
Police said no injuries had been reported, though a caravan park in the area has been evacuated after up to 20 caravans were overturned.
The Met Office has issued a yellow severe weather warning of very strong winds moving eastwards across the UK.
Brought in by a squally cold front, BBC Weather said the high winds were expected to clear to the east through the course of Thursday afternoon.
Further strong winds and a brief but intense spell of rain are anticipated, before clearing into the North Sea this evening, BBC Weather added.
'Sheets of metal'
Dyfed Powys Police said trees and roof tiles were also blown into roads, with several being forced to close.
Thomas Scarrott, director of the Clarach Bay Holiday Village, near Aberystwyth, said around 15 to 20 caravans had been upended and overturned.
He said: "As I was walking out of the door the wind started to increase and it went from zero to take cover in seconds. My initial thought was it must have been a tornado."
He added: "The danger now is that the wind is blustery and blowing the debris. There are large sheets of metal blowing around. We're OK indoors."
As the high winds spread east, the Grinshill Animal Rescue Centre near Shrewsbury reported "major damage".
Posting photos on Facebook, Kate Aspinall said there was no roof left on the kennels, after a tree fell on it causing damage.
She said: "Dogs and cats are safe thank God. We are OK, a little wet and wind swept."
Richard Sherratt, from Preston Gubbals, north Shropshire, said: "It's chaos.
"I had a telephone call to say two of our trees had broken off, blown down, blocked the road and taken the electric wires with them at the same time.
"The road was completely blocked by branches and electricity cables."
Richard Dowman, estate manager at the Leaton Knolls estate in Shropshire, said the estate had lost a "tremendous amount" of trees.
"We've ended up a bit of a casualty, we're just trying to get the roads open," he said.