The Met Office has issued a thunderstorm warning for southern England, as Storm Debbie unleashed its fury on Britain, toppling Christmas trees amid 70mph winds yesterday and triggering flood warnings in parts of the UK.
The fourth storm of the season so far caused travel chaos after high winds caused trees to fall in several locations, damaging overhead lines.
Storm Debbie hit Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland first before hitting Wales and moving east into the North Sea on Monday evening.
A huge Christmas tree erected outside a Blackpool church was seen bending last night in strong, strong winds. In Littondale, Yorkshire Dales, a cow and calf were seen swimming to safety after becoming stuck in floods.
But surfers in Cornwall seem to have embraced the powerful waves as they hit the beaches. A man and woman were seen braving the waves at Towan Beach in Newquay, where footage showed them lying on the ground and even doing handstands on the promenade as the sea water hit them.
The Met Office has issued a yellow warning for thunderstorms starting at 5am and continuing until midday today.
Blackpool: The Christmas tree outside Blackpool Church was caught on camera falling as strong winds hit the UK
Newquay: But surfers in Cornwall loved the powerful waves as they ran to the coast to bathe in fresh sea water
The Met Office has issued a yellow warning for thunderstorms across southern England until midday on Tuesday
“A band of thundershowers and storms are likely to move quickly eastwards across the warning area until Tuesday morning,” the Met Office said.
Meteorologists expect rain ranging between 15 to 20 mm in the affected area, which includes London, southeast and southwest England.
Some buildings could be damaged by lightning strikes or strong gusty winds – while brief power outages are also considered ‘possible’.
Drivers and those considering taking the bus should expect their trips to be longer due to drizzle, standing water and cold.
Trains and planes may also be delayed due to adverse weather conditions.
On Tuesday morning, the Environment Agency issued 11 flood warnings, meaning flooding is expected, with 120 fewer flood alerts also active.
Areas of concern include the River Severn in Gloucester and the River Eden in Cumbria.
Met Office meteorologist Marco Petagna said Storm Debbie was expected to move away from the UK to the east in the early hours of Tuesday, but “wet and windy weather” should persist.
He said on Monday: “Tomorrow morning will see heavy rain and possibly thunderstorms moving eastwards across southern England.
Newquay: Brave surfers put on their hands despite the powerful waves crashing into the park
Newquay: Strong waves were seen crashing onto the Cornish coast but surfers were making the most of them
Newquay: Big waves crashing on Towan Beach. Storm Debbie is the fourth named storm of the year
Yorkshire: Footage shared from Littondale in the Yorkshire Dales shows a cow and calf swimming to safety amid floods
Walkers were amazed to see the cascading waterfall being sent upriver from the edge of a cliff Mynydd y Gwyddel
The Met Office expects 15 to 20 mm of rain over a short period and wind gusts of 40 to 50 miles per hour.
“We could see 15 to 20 mm, roughly an inch, of rain across some southern counties in England accompanied by fairly gusty winds too.
“A week’s worth of rain can fall in an hour or two in this warning area, and you can see wind speeds between 40 and 50 miles per hour.
“If you are in that warning area, it will be very difficult (to travel).”
“Allow extra time for travel and keep up with forecasts throughout the night.”
“If you are outside, take extra care and be prepared to see thundershowers.”
Petagna said a “very active” jet stream was causing most of the wet weather, and warned it showed “no sign” of stopping in the next week.
“The active jet stream is helping to move a deep area of low pressure. It’s a very long way south, and a large part of the UK is in the line of fire,” he said.
“The next week or so will remain largely unsettled, with some brighter periods but not for long.”
Despite the humid weather, temperatures at this time of year can be expected to range between 9-12°C.
Thousands of rail passengers face more travel misery as Storm Debbie continues to wreak havoc.
The East Coast main line saw major delays for several days following the landslide between Darlington and Newcastle.
One track has been closed, while delays are expected as northbound and southbound trains share the same line.
National Rail reports: “Some operators will operate a reduced service and trains may be cancelled.” Trains operating in the area are subject to delays of up to 15 minutes due to speed restrictions and congestion.
Disturbances are expected until the end of the day.
The CrossCounty, LNER, Lumo and TransPennine Express lines are all affected.
In West Yorkshire, the main line between Leeds and Wakefield-Westgate is still experiencing an outage after strong winds brought down overhead lines on Monday. Delays and cancellations are expected on the LNER, CrossCountry and Northern lines.
The warnings come as Storm Debbie caused winds of up to 70 mph on Monday, leading to flight cancellations.
British Airways yesterday canceled 50 flights from London Heathrow Airport after parts of Northern Ireland, northwest Wales and northern England were hit by winds reaching 77mph.
British Airways said that it, like other airlines, had been forced to “make a small number of cancellations” due to bad weather, resulting in a reduced number of flights that air traffic controllers would allow to land per hour.
A company spokesperson said: “We have apologized to our customers for the disruption to their travel plans, and our teams are working hard to get them on their way as quickly as possible.”
The Met Office on Monday issued a yellow weather warning for winds, active from 10am to 4pm, for parts of the north-west covering coastal areas north of Liverpool to Whitehaven, with flying debris potentially posing a life risk.
A woman was taken to hospital after being hit by flying debris, as Storm Debbie also caused coastal flooding and widespread power outages across Ireland.
Many roads in Ireland have been flooded, while thousands have been left without power due to the “severe storm of the season”.
“The high winds generated by that leading edge of the storm as it came across the country were probably the most dangerous part,” said Keith Leonard, Ireland’s national director of fire and emergency management.
“So it’s probably the most intense storm we’ve seen so far this season.”
Hikers in northwest Wales were amazed when they saw a cascading waterfall cascading from the edge of a cliff.
Footage of the unusual scene taken from Mynydd y Gwyddel showed the waterfall bursting back over the rocky drop.
Instead of descending to Porth Vilan below, the waterfall barely reaches the edge as it explodes into the sky into a cloud of mist, blowing in the opposite direction.