Yellow weather warning set for the shortest day of the year today

Yellow weather warning and floods set for the shortest day of the year today as parts of Surrey recover from a TORNADO which whipped up travel chaos with roads closed and trains delayed

  • Briton’s are bracing themselves for more gale-force winds and torrential downpours on the wa today
  • There is a risk of patchy fog in parts of Scotland, northern England and Northern Ireland, the Met Office said
  • Ninety-four flood warnings and 232 less severe flood alerts in place across England, and flood defences up
  • It comes after a tornado ripped through the M25 near Chertsey, Surrey, showering some motorists with debris

Briton’s are bracing themselves for more gale-force winds and torrential downpours today as weather warnings are issued across the country.

Ninety-four flood warnings and 232 less severe flood alerts are in place across England this morning, and the Environment Agency said flood defences have been erected in a number of areas. 

This comes after terrified motorists were showered with debris, including fence panels, on the M25 near Chertsey, Surrey, after a tornado ripped through the town yesterday.  

Residents in Chertsey and Shepperton in Surrey saw a tornado pass through the area damaging property and downing trees. This image shows trees strewn across the road in Chertsey

Last night the Met Office issued a severe weather warning for southern England. Two weeks’ worth of rain was forecast to fall in 24 hours, causing even more flooding on saturated ground.

There were 96 flood warnings (meaning flooding is expected) and 235 flood alerts (meaning flooding is possible) in place across the country, including the Midlands, East and North-East.

Met Office forecaster Alex Burkill said: ‘It’s going to be very wet in southern parts as we go throughout the rest of today and into tomorrow.’

Although the rain is not particularly heavy for the time of year, he still expects it to cause some problems, particularly in areas that have received a soaking in recent weeks and months. 

Mr Burkill added: ‘Rainfall totals are only looking like 20-30mm, so not exceptional for the time of year, but because it’s been so wet this month and through the rest of autumn, there could be some flooding in these areas.

‘The roads within the warning area, there is a risk of seeing slow travel times.

‘It’s not looking too severe in terms of the weather but could be disruptive, mainly due to the number of people wanting to travel.’

Elsewhere, there is a risk of patchy fog in parts of Scotland, northern England and Northern Ireland, Mr Burkill said. 

Doug Wilson, flood duty manager at the Environment Agency, said: ‘Environment Agency teams have put up temporary flood defences in a number of locations including Bradford on Avon, Leatherhead, Guildford and Canterbury.

‘Pumping continues at Saltmoor and Northmoor in Somerset to lower levels in the River Tone and the flood barrier at Leigh, in Kent, is operating.

‘Our flood information officers remain out on the ground in communities where there is a risk of flooding and staff are working around the clock to help keep people safe.’

According to the RAC, there are an estimated 5.6 million getaway trips planned for Monday and Tuesday.

The motoring body said the worst of the delays are expected on Sunday, with the M25 between the M23 and M40, and roads between Flitwick and Daventry thought to have the longest queues of up to 90 minutes. 

Trees strewn across the road in Bittams Lane, Chertsey after a tornado hit the area on Saturday morning

Tiles were lifted off roofs, cars damaged, sheds wrecked and trees uprooted. Families ran for cover as the whirlwind struck without warning at 10.30am. Within a minute it had caused tens of thousands of pounds damage in the town, ten miles from Heathrow Airport. Astonishingly, no one was injured. 

In Leatherhead, Surrey, there were fears that the River Mole would overflow and leave families homeless in a repeat of Christmas Eve six years ago. Indra Starnes, 57, and her husband Martin, 63, stayed up on Friday watching water levels rise around their cottage.

The River Darent in Eynsford, Kent, burst its banks and Little Venice Country Park and Marina in Yalding was severely flooded. The town of St Ives in Cambridgeshire was surrounded by rising water on Saturday morning after the River Great Ouse burst it banks.

And at Chelmsford, Essex, the severe flooding meant that canoeists were a more common sight than motorists.

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