MORE downpours and 60mph gales TODAY as Storm Antoni sweeps UK

‘Worst storm of the year’ will hit Britain TODAY: Dire warnings of MORE torrential downpours and 60mph gales as Storm Antoni sweeps the country following washout July

  • Two and a half inches of rain and 60mph winds set to hit the UK in Storm Antoni
  • Met Office issue weather warnings for wind and rain in N. Ireland and south-west

Heavy rain and strong winds are expected to bring disruption as Storm Antoni hits parts of Britain today.

Almost two and a half inches of rain and winds of 60mph are set to batter parts of the country.

The Met Office has issued an amber warning with the potential for damaging gusts to some southwestern areas of both England and Wales between 11am and 7pm today. That followed a yellow warning for ‘unseasonably windy weather’ to southern parts of the UK between 8am and 8pm. 

There is also a yellow warning until 11am for unseasonably wet and windy conditions which may lead to some disruption in Northern Ireland. An amber warning means that there is an increased likelihood of impacts from severe weather and people should consider changing plans and taking action to protect themselves and their property.

Tourists sheltering under a bridge as they go for a punt on the River Cam in Cambridge during the downpours on Friday

Women shelter under umbrellas in the rain in London on Wednesday

Cricket fans take shelter as rain begins to fall at the Yorkshire Vikings v Lancashire Lightning match in Scarborough on Thursday

Some roads and bridges are likely to close, the Met Office warning says, and ‘there is a good chance that power cuts may occur, with the potential to affect other services, such as mobile phone coverage’.

Yellow warnings are issued when it is likely that the weather will cause some low level impacts, including some disruption to travel in a few places.

The RAC also warned today would be ‘the worst day on the roads of the summer’, with up to  four million journeys expected over the whole weekend, combined with appalling driving conditions.

Northern Ireland will see heavy rain from the early hours of this, while parts of Wales and south-west and coastal southern England will be blasted with heavy wind.

Met Office chief meteorologist Steve Willington said the storm will bring ‘potentially disruptive’ weather as it moves from west to east.

He added: ‘Northern Ireland is likely to see some of the highest rainfall totals, with 40-60mm falling in some spots, but 20-30mm more widely.

‘Away from the warning area many will still see a very wet day, especially in north Wales and north England.’

He said that the strongest winds will affect parts of south-west England and south-west Wales, with gusts reaching in excess of 60mph.

‘The strongest winds will affect parts south-west England and southwest Wales where exposed coasts and high ground could see gusts in excess of 60mph,’ he said.

‘In these areas, gusts inland could reach 50-55mph for a time. These windy conditions will likely coincide with high tides which will present an additional challenge for coastal areas.’

But the Met Office said warm and sunny conditions are expected later next week. 

The RAC’s Rod Dennis warned that today is expected to be the worst day on the roads of the summer so far.

‘We expect Saturday to be the worst day on the roads of the summer so far, especially for anyone in the south-west of England – and that’s a lot of people as our research shows it’s the most popular part of the country for leisure trips by car this year,’ he said.

Rain and wind warnings have been issued by the Met Office for Northern Ireland and parts of south-west Britain respectively

Low lying cloud on a dull morning in the countryside in Dunsden, Oxfordshire on Friday

Punting tourists being battered by the rain on the River Cam in Cambridge on Friday

After heavy rain on Wednesday in the rural village of Eton Wick, Windsor, Berkshire some local roads were flooded making for an unpleasant commute home for drivers

People play amongst the waves on Chiswell Beach, Dorset during stormy weather on Wednesday

‘Conditions will be atrocious with a wholly unpleasant mix of very strong winds and locally intense rainfall. The best advice is to slow down significantly to stay safe and avoid exposed moorland and coastal routes until the storm passes.

‘Drivers towing caravans and trailers need to be particularly careful in these conditions and those with boxes and bikes on the roof should double-check they’re secured properly.

‘Drivers should also watch out for fallen trees and be prepared for the disruption they cause.’

He added that the RAC estimates that around four million cars will be suing the roads for leisure journeys across the whole weekend.

The weather has also forced organisers of outdoor events scheduled to take place this weekend to cancel their plans.

Eliot Walker, organiser of the annual Dorset jazz festival, Stompin’ on the Quomps, said he was ‘disappointed’ he had to postpone this year’s event due to Storm Antoni. The free festival in Christchurch Quay was forced to cancel its activities for the first time in its 30-year history.

Mr Walker, 44, said: ‘We’re really disappointed that the town can’t come together to enjoy a wonderful day listening to professional jazz and big bands by the side of the river on the picturesque quay.’

People walking along the Millennium Bridge, London, during a rain shower on Wednesday

Friends shelter from the rain outside their beach hut on Wednesday in Broadstairs, Kent

Sheltering from the rain at the beach in Broadstairs, Kent

Two tourists wearing raincoats sit having lunch beside the statue of Eros at Piccadilly Circus on Wednesday

Around 10,000 people had been expected to attend on today. The decision to cancel the festival was driven by concerns for the safety of traders and spectators, as gusts of up to 60mph are predicted.

Mr Walker added: ‘We always keep an eye on the weather for the months leading up to the events just to get a general idea, and the closer we get, the more accurate and consistent the weather forecasts tend to be.

‘But on Wednesday, we were still seeing gusts of wind to 47mph, which is quite extreme for Christchurch. And it was at that point we wanted to give our traders and bands enough time to know that they weren’t going to be performing.

‘Christchurch Quay is a popular location for events. We are talking to Christchurch Town Council and trying to find available dates in either August or September to move the festival to.’

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