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Storm Callum batters UK with 76mph winds and heavy rain

Picture from Pixabay
Picture from Pixabay
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Storm Callum has begun lashing parts of the UK with winds up to 76mph and torrential rain, prompting warnings of flooding and travel disruption.

The North East looks set to escape the worst of the weather, however, with only small parts of Northumberland covered by a Met Office severe weather warning.

The forecast for the region today is for cloudy, windy weather with pulses of rain turning heavy at times. Some drier spells are also likely. It will still feel warm, however, despite the weather conditions with temperatures as high as 19 °C.

Tonight will see rain, perhaps clearing for a while, during the evening to clearer and cooler conditions, however a further swathe of persistent and occasionally heavy rain should return later in the night. Minimum temperature 10 °C.

The highest wind speeds were recorded on the Isles of Scilly in the early hours of Friday morning, while 60mph gales were recorded in Camborne in Cornwall and Milford Haven in Pembrokeshire.

Western Power Distribution said more than 950 homes had been left without electricity in south-west England and nearly 100 were without power in south Wales.

Some flights were cancelled at Cardiff and Exeter Airports on Friday morning, while rail passengers in Wales and the South West of England were warned of disruption to services due to high winds.

The Met Office has warned heavy rainfall moving in from the South West could present a risk to life and issued a 36-hour amber warning for Wales.

The forecast deluge poses a risk of communities being cut off by flooding, while widespread gales are expected to cause disruption across western areas of the UK.

The Met Office has issued a series of weather warnings stretching from the north-west coast of Scotland to Land's End, including Northern Ireland, while a number of flood warnings and alerts are in force across south-west England and south Wales.

Cheshire Police said it had received "quite a few" weather-related calls on Friday morning, while Isle of Man Police warned motorists of windy and rainy conditions causing issues on the roads.

"We are also starting to see the rain push in to parts of south-west England and part of the Republic of Ireland," Met Office meteorologist Alex Burkhill said.

"We've got a wind warning which covers all the western side of the UK. That in itself is likely to bring disruption to roads and there is likely to be some bridge closures and power outages.

"We also have yellow and amber warnings of between 50mm and 150mm of rain for Wales. That's quite a substantial amount of rain to come and could bring flooding."

The amber warning remains in place until 6pm on Saturday, while the broader yellowrain and wind warnings that include parts of north-west and south-west England, western Scotland and Northern Ireland will remain in place until midnight on Friday.

Whitchurch in Pembrokeshire saw 15mm of rain fall in a matter of hours on Friday morning as Michael moved in.

Rainfall totals could reach as high as 150mm over the Brecon Beacons, nearly as high as the monthly average of 170mm for Wales.

The high winds, combined with heavy rain, could see leaves and twigs blocking drains, making flooding more likely, Mr Burkhill said.

Windsor, the scene of Friday's royal wedding, looks set to escape the worst of the storm.

The South East is expected to be blustery but stay "quite dry", with temperatures possibly reaching up to 24C (75F).