Storm Francis due to hit the UK with rain and wind expected

The UK has been braced to expect an “unseasonably wet and windy spell”, as Storm Francis reaches the west of England from the early hours of Tuesday.

Forecasters predict winds of up to 70mph and heavy rainfall – up to 90mm in places – during a 36-hour weather window.

It follows a similar period of unseasonable weather towards the end of last week, coinciding with the arrival of Storm Ellen, which saw 15-year-old Nicola Williams swept to her death in the Rhymney River in Llanrumney, Cardiff, and a 50-year-old holidaymaker die in the sea near Helston, west Cornwall, after getting into difficulties.

Storm Francis weather warnings
Storm Francis weather warnings

Weather warnings for wind remained in place across all England, Wales and parts of Scotland during the weekend.

A new wind warning is in place for all of Wales and most of England until Wednesday, as well as two heavy rain warnings for southern Scotland, and north Wales and northern England.

Chief Meteorologist Andy Page said: “The UK is in for another unseasonably wet and windy spell with Storm Francis arriving on Tuesday.

“There will be strong winds and heavy rain, especially in the west of the UK.”

#StormFrancis has been named

A deep area of low pressure will bring heavy rain and the risk of severe gales in places during Tuesday and Wednesday

Warnings have been issued, more information here https://t.co/vdbKXpnseG

stay #WeatherAwarepic.twitter.com/UZk11JB7s8

— Met Office (@metoffice) August 24, 2020

Nicola Maxey, press officer for the Met Office, added: “Since 2015 when we started naming storms, we have never had to name a storm in August – and now we’ve had two in a few days.

“There are a lot of people on holiday in the UK at the moment, going camping and on walking breaks, many in coastal locations where the winds are likely to be stronger, so it is worth checking on the Met Office website ahead of time.”

Forecasters said the winds were “unusual” for August, and might result in transport disruption and impacts on outdoor activities.

The rain is expected to be heaviest in Northern Ireland and south-west Scotland where up to 90mm in total could fall as the storm moves from west to east.

Storm Francis is expected to clear by Wednesday lunchtime, leaving a brighter and more settled outlook for the remainder of the day, the Met Office said.

No new storm is currently forecast this month, meaning the next storm will begin with “A” rather than “G”, as the storm-naming calendar resets on September 1.

The Met Office said the bank holiday weekend would likely be a mixture of sunshine and some scattered showers across the country.