UK weather forecast: Storm Francis eases but thunderstorms threaten bank holiday
Storm Francis has moved on after gusts of more than 80mph battered the UK – but thunderstorms now threaten to spoil the August bank holiday.
Met Office yellow warnings for rain that cover Northern Ireland and parts of England, Wales and Scotland remain until 6am on Wednesday, and another for wind is in place until 9am.
The Environment Agency still has 36 flood alerts and five flood warnings in place for England thanks to the grim conditions.
Forecasters said the weather is expected to improve throughout the day but it will take a while longer for eastern areas to see the winds fully calm down as the storm moves off towards Europe.
Temperatures today could even reach highs of 21C in the south as the showers and strong winds ease off.
However, it’s a temporary reprieve as August looks set to end in miserable fashion.
Large parts of the country will be hit by more downpours on Thursday, and thunderstorms are forecast for Friday.
The bank holiday weekend itself is currently predicted to be a mixed bag, with showers and winds in some parts of the UK and dry in others.
Temperatures may struggle to get above 18C and will feel cooler, which is a far cry from the record breaking 37C heat Britain sweltered through in July.
Met Office forecaster Craig Snell said: “Francis has now pretty much moved off shore and it’s now just a slow gradual improvement.”
The strongest gusts recorded on Tuesday was the 81mph wind that hit The Needles near the Isle of Wight at around 8pm.
This is just short of the August record for the UK which was 87mph recorded in 1996.
Lake Vyrnwy in Powys, Wales, saw gusts of 75mph, equalling the Welsh August gust record of the 75mph recorded at Milford Haven in August 1979.
The wettest place on Tuesday was Bethesda in north Wales where 101mm of rain was recorded.
Meanwhile, the fire service in Northern Ireland said 37 people were rescued from flood water.
Elderly residents had to be rescued from the County Down coastal resort town of Newcastle after a river burst its banks, and in Draperstown, Co Londonderry, rescuers had to save nine people from inside a house, along with four outside who were trying to help.
A boat was used to help residents in Newcastle, a picturesque east coast town on the edge of the Mourne Mountains.
Up to 300 homes have been affected and streets left under three or four feet of water, a local representative said.
South Wales Police said they were involved in two separate water searches from the swollen River Taff and fire crews had to rescue holidaymakers from a flooded campsite in the town of St Clears, Carmarthenshire, after river levels rose in the area.
Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service said nine people and two dogs were rescued by fire service personnel using a swift rescue sledge, lines and wading gear.
Crews also gave medical treatment to one man and evacuated 30 other people from a flooded caravan site in Wiseman’s Bridge, Narberth, while 12 caravans were also removed from the site.
RAC Breakdown spokesman Rod Dennis said that, until the middle of Wednesday, drivers need to brace themselves for some “very unpleasant” conditions on the roads.
“An amber weather warning covering a swathe of western Britain means there is a real risk of disruption to journeys from flying debris such as tree branches.
“Surface spray and perhaps some localised flooding are also possible,” he said.
MET OFFICE OUTLOOK
Early cloud and rain over parts of England, Scotland and Wales clearing away eastwards. Sunny spells then follow, but also a few showers, more especially for Northern Ireland, southern Scotland and northern England. Becoming less windy from the west.
Daytime showers fading this evening leaving many areas dry with clear spells overnight. Outbreaks of rain developing over parts of southern Scotland, northern England and Northern Ireland later though.
Dry start for many with early bright or sunny spells. Many areas seeing showers or longer spells of rain developing later though. Best weather probably northwest Scotland and East Anglia.
Outlook for Friday to Sunday:
Mostly cloudy with showers or rain Friday, windy in the east later. Showers in the east Saturday, otherwise mostly dry with sunny spells over the weekend with winds easing.