Forecasters have warned of power cuts, flooding and transport disruption as parts of Britain are lashed by strong winds and up to six weeks’ rainfall in one day.
Weather warnings are in place across south-east England, which is facing the brunt of torrential downpours and unseasonably cold temperatures.
The Environment Agency has issued 31 flood alerts, meaning people should prepare for possible flooding, across the country
A more severe flood warning, which means immediate action should be taken, is in place east of Peterborough as heavy rain causes the River Nene to rise.
The Met Office said downpours would continue throughout Monday in south-east England, particularly in East Anglia and Kent.
The North Downs, between Kent and Surrey, is expected to be drenched by 60mm to 80mm of rain, compared to an average of 50mm during the whole of April.
Temperatures will also remain low with forecast highs of 6C (43F) in Norwich, 8C (46F) forecast for London, and 12C (54F) in Manchester.
“It’s the south-east portion of the UK that will be getting the worst of the weather,” said Met Office meteorologist Becky Mitchell.
A Met Office yellow warning is in place until midnight on Monday in south-east England, where forecasters warned flooding was likely to force road closures and disrupt trains.
“Homes and businesses could be flooded, causing damage to some buildings,” the warning adds. “Power cuts may occur, with the potential to affect other services. Some damage to trees and other structures may occur.”
Clare Dinnis, flood duty manager for the Environment Agency, said: “Widespread heavy rain from Sunday evening and through Monday could lead to flooding from surface water and rivers in parts of south, south-east and central England.
“Strong winds will also lead to large waves and spray in exposed coastal areas and we encourage people to take care in these locations.
“We expect some travel disruption during Monday morning’s rush-hour. We advise people to listen to their local radio stations and remember not to drive through flood water as just 30cm of fast flowing water is enough to move your car.”
Rail operator Southeastern cancelled some services, while Southern, Thameslink and Gatwick Express all warned of possible disruption.
“The overall feel on Monday is going to be pretty bleak for people out and about travelling to work,” said Met Office spokesman John West.
The wet weather comes at the end of an erratic month which brought the second hottest April day on record and warmest London Marathon in history, but also snow in parts of the country.
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