Britain to be battered by torrential rain with 71 flood warnings issued

The UK is set to be battered by torrential rain and severe gale force winds with 71 flood warnings issued.

Winds of 60mph from the Atlantic are set to hit northern England today before travelling down the country to the south-west.

Commuters are expected to have to deal with travel delays due to the winds and drivers of tall vehicles have been advised to take care on bridges.

This morning is due to be particularly rainy in the north with more downpours in the west, moving eastwards later on Saturday.

A Met Office forecaster said showers would be ‘hefty,’ even warning of thunder and hail in areas.

And the Environment Agency has issued 71 flood warnings and alerts in England, Scotland and Wales, a Met Office chart shows. Of these, 29 have since been removed.

Meteorologist, Aidan McGivern, told the Express: "There will be very strong winds of 50-60mph.

"The showers will be heavy and prolonged in places and the winds particularly gusty.

"The gales will strengthen further through Saturday night, especially around coasts of south Wales and the south-west of England where we could have gales of more than 60mph."

Vicious downpours of rain will sweep in from the west, forecasters told Mirror Online yesterday.

Mark Wilson, Met Office forecaster, said: "It is going to be showery particularly in northern areas on Saturday morning.

"Then another band of rain will come in from the west and move eastwards later in the day.

"The showers will be pretty hefty, with hail and thunder in some places.

"We are looking in some places, particularly in northern England and northern Wales, between 5mm and 10mm in one hour. That is pretty heavy."

In December, the UK averages 120mm of rain- around 3.8mm each day.

Mr Wilson said the downpours could happen "anywhere" but are most likely in northern England on Saturday afternoon.

Temperatures will struggle to exceed 13C on Saturday but will plummet dramatically in the following 24 hours.

Forecasters have warned the mercury will plunge to around 5C in some parts of Scotland on Sunday.

It’ll lead to a bitter frost returning into next week, especially in northern and eastern areas.

Mirror Online has contacted the Environment Agency for more information on the flood warnings.

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