Britain battered by gale force winds and heavy downpours as June storm bombards country

Weather warnings issued by the Met Office as summer storm hits the UK

Britain was battered by gale force winds today as heavy downpours threatened flooding and disruption across the country.

Weather warnings have been issued by the Met Office across South West England, the Midlands and the South East for wind.

There are also warnings and flood alerts in place for Wales and the south of England as the weather system moves east across the country.

The strongest gust of wind recorded today was 82mph and was at Needles on the western tip of the Isle of Wight.

A teenager who suffered serious head injuries after his motorcycle crashed in Sussex is in hospital.

Devon and Somerset fire and rescue teams had to cut a woman free from her car after it was crushed by a tree near Tavistock in Devon.

One driver also escaped with minor injuries after several branches hit his van on the A35 at Lyndhurst this morning.

At the Port of Dover, officials said services with P&O Ferries and DFDS/LD Lines to Calais and DFDS Seaways to Dunkirk were delayed.

A port spokesman said: "Passengers are advised to contact their shipping operator for any further information and updates."

Ferry services in the Isle of Wight have been suspended.

Downpours continued across much of the south of England with the third Test between the West Indies and England at Edgbaston a wash-out.

Huge waves were witnessed breaking over the lighthouse at Porthcawl seafront in South Wales.

A swimming pool in Plymouth was flooded with sea water and will now have to be drained and cleaned.

The Bradford Mela, which is an Asian-themed festival has been cancelled due to wet ground conditions.

Severe weather warnings have been issued for south-west England, the Midlands, London and the south-east as well as eastern parts of the UK.

Met Office spokesman Charlie Powell said: "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."

Forecasters say winds could reach 40-50mph inland, whilst southern coastal areas could see winds of up to 65mph.

In Wales the winds have led to the postponement of races in the Canoe Slalom Word Cup, which is this year taking place in Cardiff Bay.

The Suffolk Show near Ipswich has been cancelled because of safety concerns.

In the south west of the UK fallen trees have brought down electricity cables, leaving 300 homes without power.

Through today and into this evening the centre of the storm will move north-east, hitting North Wales.

The bad weather looks set also to hit the Midlands tomorrow with around three inches of rain expected.

And in contrast to just 12 days ago when Britain was enjoying scorching sun and soaring heat - temperatures now look set to struggle to get above 16C in the South and 9C in the North.

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