Britons are being urged to make the most of the sunny respite tomorrow as the rain tapers off before Hurricane Lorenzo hits on Thursday, bringing with it more damaging deluges and powerful flash floods.
The brief interval of warm weather comes after commuters endured a nightmare journey home on Tuesday afternoon, as flooding caused chaos across the UK rail network after thousands of people were warned to evacuate their homes and others were trapped by rising water levels.
Train routes in the North West and South East of England were badly hit amid problems with landslips and high water levels – as the already-deluged country faced a further two inches of rain in just two hours.
A helicopter was brought in to help people unable to leave their houses on the Isle of Man after a river burst its banks causing ‘horrendous conditions’, with police telling residents to ‘go upstairs and await rescue’.
The flooding shut roads and schools as fire crews attempted to evacuate locals in the village of Laxey, while officers told motorists to take extreme caution due to huge amounts of surface water amid a ‘major incident’.
The storms came as parts of northern England and the Midlands struggled to cope with flash flooding following days of heavy rain – as the severe conditions also caused problems for travellers on the roads and railways.
Britons are being urged to make the most of the sunny respite tomorrow as the rain tapers off before Hurricane Lorenzo hits on Thursday, bringing with it more damaging deluges and powerful flash floods
A digger has been washed into a river in the Isle of Man today following heavy rain on the island in recent days
Residents on the Isle of Man are left trapped in their homes and told by police to ‘go upstairs and await rescue’ today
Flash flooding this morning at Laxey Harbour on the Isle of Man as residents become trapped in their homes today
A major incident is declared on the Isle of Man today as firefighters attempt to evacuate locals in the village of Laxey
A canoeist paddles down Blakeney High Street past Blakeney Hotel as the water floods over the quay in Norfolk this morning
Northern Rail said the train line is blocked between Hexham and Carlisle following a reported landslip at Wetherall (above)
Morning commuters make their way through a heavy rain shower in Birmingham today as they take cover under coats
A Jaguar is stuck in deep floodwater which has hit the village of Colston Bassett in Nottinghamshire this morning
Fire rescue teams wade through floodwater this morning after heavy rain in the village of Cossington, Leicestershire
A motorist drives his car through floodwater in Birmingham today as much of the UK is battered by severe weather
Commuters shelter from the rain under umbrellas at Queen Square in Bristol as the country is hit by torrential rain today
Motorists make their way through flooded roads after heavy rainfall overnight in Gateshead, Tyne and Wear
Northern Rail said the Maryport to Carlisle line was badly affected with replacement buses operating in some sections. It said the line is also blocked between Hexham and Carlisle following a reported landslip at Wetherall.
There has also been flooding at Thackley, between Leeds and Carlisle, and the operator’s services were suspended between Stockport and Macclesfield due to problems with lineside equipment.
Flooding between Newtown and Machynlleth in Mid Wales blocked the line, while trains between Cambridge and Newmarket were cancelled or delayed by up to 90 minutes for the same reason.
Heavy rain also flooded the railway between Narborough and Hinckley in Leicestershire, making trains run at reduced speed on all lines – affecting passengers travelling between Birmingham New Street and Leicester.
Northern Rail said: ‘Heavy rain and flooding is, again, impacting Northern’s ability to operate services. Delays and short notice cancellations are likely across the region as rain continues to fall on already soaked ground.’
The Met Office has forecast heavy rain for England and Wales today, with a weather warning in place for the South (left)
The Environment Agency has imposed more than 250 flood warnings (in red) or alerts (in orange) for England today
Social media users told of the loud thunder claps heard in London this afternoon, with some posting memes
A car drives through the town of Sileby in Leicestershire which has been hit by heavy rain overnight
A car drives through a flooded road in the village of Bubnell in Derbyshire this morning as rain continues to fall in the region
Carlisle East Fire Station tweeted this photograph of flooding this morning in Carlisle after weather warnings were imposed
Pedestrians shelter from the rain under umbrellas while crossing a bridge in Bristol this morning amid heavy downpours
After hours of torrential rain in parts of England, the River Ouse in York city centre has broken its banks this morning
The River Avon has burst its banks, causing flooding at a number of locations across Bristol overnight, including Henbury
A Land Rover drives through deep flood water which has deluged the village of Colston Bassett in Nottinghamshire today
Deep floodwater has deluged the town of Sileby in Leicestershire today as locals survey the scene
The Environment Agency issued more than 250 flood alerts and warnings for England, with thousands of people last night warned to evacuate their homes amid fears the North Sea could breach coastal defences.
A severe rain warning was imposed by the Met Office for southern England and Wales until 8pm tonight amid fears deep floodwater could cause ‘danger to life’ and some communities could become cut off by flooded roads.
Heavy showers affected South Wales and South West England this morning before spreading to other parts of southern England later on, peaking across the South East of the country during the afternoon.
The rain will become heavy with up to 2in (50mm) of rain possible in two hours in some areas, along with lightning and hail. It will clear from the West and the North this afternoon but persist in the South East into the evening.
Some regions could see the equivalent of two weeks’ worth of rain in less than an hour. Met Office meteorologist Luke Miall said: ‘We could see some local quite torrential downpours and a risk of surface water flooding.’
A motorist drives through floodwater in Birmingham today, as parts of the UK face two weeks’ worth of rain in just an hour
High winds, torrential rain and big seas with huge tides have made the cliffs dangerous at Charmouth in Dorset today
The River Ouse in York city centre has burst its banks today following heavy rainfall in North Yorkshire and other areas
Canal and River Trust staff inspect the heavily flooded Naburn Lock along the River Ouse outside York this morning
A fire engine outside a house which has suffered flooding this morning in Carlisle as Cumbria is hit by the bad weather
A heavily flooded Naburn Lock along the River Ouse outside York this morning as heavy rain continues to batter the region
People brave the weather conditions and try to ignore the heavy rainfall as they stroll along Whitley Bay seafront today
A heavily flooded Naburn Lock along the River Ouse outside York in North Yorkshire this morning
A morning commuter gets soaked despite wearing a jacket as people their way through a heavy shower in Birmingham today
A Land Rover drives through deep flood water which has affected the Nottinghamshire village of Colston Bassett today
He warned that slow moving clouds meant ‘we could see as much as 40mm to 50mm maybe in a couple of hours in some spots’. The Met Office issued a warning for Wales, southern England, East Anglia and the Midlands.
On the Isle of Man, a Coastguard helicopter was pictured over the village of Laxey, on the east coast of the island, as floodwater from the Laxey River surged through the streets, leading to police declaring a ‘major incident’.
Local police on the Isle of Man said on Facebook: ‘Glen Road between the upper and lower bridges has flooded severely. Several vehicles have washed away. Persons are trapped in at least three houses.
‘Fire Rescue and Coastguard are on scene with fast water rescue teams. A major incident has been declared with all Govt agencies helping out. We are asking that any persons trapped go upstairs and monitor media.’
Motorists make their way through flooded roads in Gateshead this morning after heavy rainfall overnight
A man walks next to a woman on the Whitley Bay seafront who takes cover under an umbrella this morning
Cars drive through a flooded Hazel Brook in Henbury, Bristol, this morning – one of a number of locations affected by flooding
Commuters shelter from the rain under umbrellas at Queen Square in Bristol today amid the torrential conditions
A car drives through a flooded road in the village of Bubnell in Derbyshire this morning as rain continues to fall in the region
A heavily flooded Naburn Lock along the River Ouse just outside York this morning as heavy rain continues to batter the area
The River Ouse in York city centre has burst its banks today – with North Yorkshire one of many areas hit by the flooding
A woman takes cover under a newspaper as commuters make their way through a heavy rain shower in Birmingham today
Commuters shelter from the rain under umbrellas at Queen Square in Bristol today as a cyclist tries to dodge the puddles
A car drives through flooded Cross Lane in Gateshead, Tyne and Wear, today following heavy rainfall overnight
The village, which is about four miles north of the capital Douglas, appeared to be worst hit, although police also reported problems on the coast road and in Onchan as well as a landslip on the mountain road.
One witness, Julie Graham, tweeted: ‘Coastguard helicopter on Laxey football pitch. Horrendous conditions, river has burst it’s banks, people trapped in their houses. The emergency services are doing an amazing job.’
Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service said officers rescued an adult and a child trapped in a vehicle caught in floodwater in Bretby, near Burton upon Trent, at around 8pm yesterday.
A fire station in Carlisle said on Twitter: ‘Numerous water related incidents this morning, including cars stuck in flood water, and flooded properties. Please do not drive through flood water, it is not worth the risk.’
A morning commuter takes cover under an umbrellas as they walk through a heavy rain shower in Birmingham today
People walk close to the rising water levels in York this morning after the River Ouse burst its banks
A cyclist in a waterproof poncho crosses Millennium Bridge in Bristol today amid torrential rain
Mist hangs over Chatsworth House in Derbyshire this morning as rain continues to fall in the region
Morning commuters make their way through a heavy rain shower in Birmingham today
A man walks along a flooded road in the village of Bubnell in Derbyshire this morning as rain continues to fall in the region
A road in the centre of Kenilworth in Warwickshire has been flooded overnight with more rain forecast for the day
People brave the weather conditions and ignore the heavy rainfall as they stroll along the Whitley Bay seafront today
Flood alerts have been issued along the Norfolk coastline today and in tidal areas of the Broads, including Blakeney
Flooding has hit York city centre today after the River Ouse burst its banks, with hundreds of flood alerts or warnings in place
Pedestrians shelter from the rain under umbrellas in Bristol this morning after the Met Office warned of torrential rain
And at about 9pm last night, firefighters helped a woman in a car stuck in floodwater in Cattal Moor Lane, near York. At the Ship Inn pub in Mevagissey, Cornwall, there was floodwater inside and nearby roads were submerged.
In west Norfolk, a ‘precautionary evacuation notice’ was issued for the coastal areas of Hunstanton, Heacham and Snettisham, thanks to risks posed by a high tide due at 8.40am this morning and force six north-westerly winds.
People were told to leave caravans and properties in the affected area and not to return until it is safe. They have been urged to take with them any medication, pets and anything urgent they might need over the next 48 hours.
The public were also advised to take care along beaches, promenades, coastal footpaths and roads as large waves and sea spray could be dangerous. The Environment Agency urged people to avoid seafronts in the South West.
Morning commuters make their way through a heavy rain shower in Birmingham under an umbrella today
Canal and River Trust staff inspect the heavily flooded Naburn Lock along the River Ouse just outside York this morning
A woman looks out from her umbrella as she braves the weather conditions on Whitley Bay seafront in Tyne and Wear today
Motorists make their way through flooded roads in Gateshead, Tyne and Wear, this morning after heavy rainfall overnight
A Jaguar stuck in deep flood water today after it cut the Nottinghamshire village of Colston Bassett in half after heavy rain
A heavily flooded Naburn Lock along the River Ouse just outside York in North Yorkshire this morning
Pedestrians shelter from the rain under umbrellas in Bristol today after the Met Office warned of severe conditions
A car drives through floodwater in Kenilworth, Warwickshire, after it was flooded overnight – with more rain forecast
Pedestrians shelter from the rain under umbrellas in Bristol amid heavy rain across parts of Britain this morning
Officials also advised the public to check flood warnings due to forecast high tides and winds. The Environment Agency said heavy showers could bring a ‘small chance of fast-flowing or deep floodwater causing danger to life’.
Meanwhile, the remnants of 160mph Hurricane Lorenzo are predicted to bring more wet and windy weather later in the week on Thursday and Friday. Lorenzo is the most powerful hurricane ever recorded so close to Europe.
The system has now been downgraded from a Category 5 to a Category 2 tropical storm, but will bring heavy rain and winds gusting at up to 60mph. Met Office forecaster Steven Keates said: ‘Lorenzo is a real beast of a storm.’
But there is better news for tomorrow, which forecasters said will be mainly dry and bright, with sunny spells.
Remnants of Hurricane Lorenzo set to bring more rain
The weather system which produced the strongest hurricane ever recorded in the far east Atlantic is heading towards the UK.
Forecasters say that what is left of Hurricane Lorenzo will have lost much of its power by the time it arrives, but will mean more wind and rain for parts of the country.
Hurricane Lorenzo is currently south west of The Azores, where it is expected to pass with 105mph winds later today and tomorrow.
The Met Office said there has been some uncertainty of over its path, but it now looks like it will follow a north-easterly track towards the UK and Ireland.
When it arrives in these latitudes some time on Thursday, it will have lost its hurricane strength, but will still mean another wet and windy battering for the west of the country.
Chief meteorologist at the Met Office Dan Suri said: ‘There has been considerable uncertainty over the potential track of Lorenzo after it passes The Azores.
‘However, we are now increasingly confident the remnants of Lorenzo will move towards the UK, bringing a spell of wet and very windy weather to western parts on Thursday and Friday.’
Mr Suri said the strongest winds are expected in western Ireland, with a risk of coastal gales developing in Northern Ireland and western Scotland on Thursday and Wales and south-west England on Friday.
He said ‘Ex-Lorenzo’ will also bring spells of heavy rain to north-western parts of the UK through Thursday and Friday, particularly in Northern Ireland, western Scotland, central England and Wales.
Mr Suri said: ‘Our advice is to pay close attention to the weather forecast over the next couple of days and to keep an eye out for any weather warnings that may be issued in your area.’
Deputy chief meteorologist Tony Wardle said: ‘The remnants of ex-Hurricane Lorenzo will gradually pull away from the UK later on Friday, though it’ll remain unsettled with further spells of wet and windy weather as we head into the weekend.’
The arrival of Ex-Lorenzo will mean more rainfall after days of deluge, although the Met Office said Wednesday will be an oasis of good weather between the storms.