UK weather: Hurricane Nigel rolls in as Britain faces torrential rain and thunderstorms

Mix of sunny spells and showers can be expected ahead of weekend as weather warnings for rain and wind lapse

Stuti Mishra
Thursday 21 September 2023 08:39 BST
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Latest Met Office forecast

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Louise Thomas

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Huge downpours overnight have left parts of the UK flooded and hit hundreds of homes and business with power cuts.

Rail passengers faced some cancelled and altered services on Thursday morning in the wake of heavy rain overnight.

There are cancelled services across rail networks for Thursday morning, with National Rail warning of “major disruption” affecting all lines between London Kings Cross and Stevenage.

Disruption has also been reported through Tulse Hill, Cheltenham Spa and between Lewes and Wivelsfield and West Ealing and Greenford.

Several flood alerts and two yellow weather warnings were issued by the Met Office for Wednesday until Thursday morning as the forecaster predicts rain to begin to clear off by midday.

Torrential downpours overnight have left several roads flooded in Wales and over 500 homes and businesses from Carmarthenshire and Monmouthshire in the south to the Llŷn peninsula in the north are facing power cuts.

Outages were also reported in Somerset and Cornwall.

Photos and videos on social media show roads submerged in floodwater as Traffic Wales reported there were restrictions on some bridges and rail delays in the Swansea area because of a fallen tree.

One social media post showed flash floods in Mond Valley Golf Club in Clydach near Swansea while a van was stuck on the road submerged in water.

The Met Office said sunny spells and showers can be expected ahead of the weekend as weather warnings for rain and wind lapse on Thursday.

While Thursday is expected to be “mostly fine”, some showers can break out during the day, with the possibility of a few getting heavy and thundery. Rain is expected to be more frequent in the north, merging into longer spells at times as the weather stays windy.

Meanwhile in England, showers are easing, with clear spells developing as the day progresses, the forecast showed. In the far west and southeast, however, some showers can persist for much of the night while the northwest remains windy.

The rains on Wednesday and overnight were brought by the remnants of Hurricanes Lee and Nigel, which came across the Atlantic from the US east coast.

Andrew Hitchings, flood duty manager at the Environment Agency, warned of surface water flooding across parts of the Midlands and the North and widely across much of England on Wednesday.

“Surface water flooding is also probable and river flooding possible across parts of the East and South East of England from Wednesday afternoon overnight into early tomorrow morning,” he said.

Environment Agency teams were out on the ground undertaking preparatory operational activity to minimise the impacts of flooding where possible, he said.

“We urge people not to drive though flood water – it is often deeper than it looks and just 30cm of flowing water is enough to float your car.”

Looking ahead to Friday and the weekend, the Met Office said the weather would ease, with sunnier spells expected and no weather warnings forecast.

“A band of rain will clear by the start of Thursday and that will be followed by sunny spells and showers with low pressure never too far away from the UK. Some cooler weather, along with some chilly nights, are likely as we move towards the weekend,” Met Office’s meteorologist Aidan McGivern said.

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