Two weeks’ worth of rain is set to fall in 24 hours with 365 flood warnings issued in the UK, where train companies predicted huge delays this weekend.
Mail Online reports Surrey was hit by a tornado “as more downpours and heavy rain are expected today and into the rest of the weekend, with widespread flooding continuing to cause travel chaos in the lead up to Christmas”.
“There are 105 flood warnings and 260 flood alerts across the country and 20 to 30 mm of rain is expected.
“Residents in Chertsey and Shepperton in Surrey have shared videos of a tornado passing through the area damaging property and downing trees, with the Met Office confirming it happened this morning at around 10.30am.
“It is also forecast that two weeks’ worth of rain will fall in the next 24 hours, causing even more flooding on saturated ground.
“Southern England will see the worst of the wet conditions today and overnight and in Wales there will be very heavy downpours, with 4-5 mm expected to fall within just one hour.
“Southern rail have said today that spells of heavy rain or showers may cause flooding on the railway leading to some potential disruption.”
Marco Petagna from the Met Office said: “It is a showery picture in the south and south west with fairly heavy rain moving up over the country.
“There is also a fog warning in place in Northern Ireland today until 1pm and rain warnings are in place for the south of the country.”
Travel may continue to be disrupted and those going home for Christmas were advised to allow “extra time for journeys and be prepared”.
“Temperatures remain average for this time of year with the north of England seeing 6-7C and the south seeing 8-10C.
“Network rail said there will be disruption to Great Northern, Gatwick Express, Thameslink, Southern services until midday on Sunday.”
On Friday flooding blocked roads and railways, while part of a historic promenade collapsed.
“The heavens opened across southern England and Wales and half a month’s rain fell between Wednesday and yesterday morning.
“But there was some festive cheer from forecasters – the weather is due to turn more settled next week and Christmas Day is set to be largely dry with sunny spells.
“The M23 was shut yesterday in both directions because of flooding near Crawley, West Sussex.
“The closure brought gridlock around Gatwick airport, with tailbacks several miles long reported on alternative routes.
“The River Rother, meanwhile, burst its banks in another part of the county, blocking roads.
“There were also delays due to flooding on the A12 in Essex and the A20 in West Kingsdown, Kent.
“Motorists had to be rescued from their cars by firemen after becoming marooned at Leigh, near Tonbridge, and Maidstone, both in Kent. Cars were also seen submerged near Billericay, Essex.
“Up to an inch more rain could fall, risking further flooding. Bonnie Diamond, of the Met Office, said that away from the South, the rest of England and Wales was set to experience a mixture of sunshine and showers.”
Forecasters say Britain is facing a Christmas Day freeze “as mild and stormy conditions give way to Arctic temperatures and possible snow”, as “a cold northerly blast will roar in during the middle of next week with frost and foggy conditions expected on the big day”.
“It will follow an unsettled weekend with bouts of strong winds and torrential forecast through until Christmas Eve,” the report said.
“Thermometers will plunge overnight into Christmas morning putting some northern parts of the country in the running for a festive flurry.”
Top Feature Photo: Little Venice Country Park & Marina in Yalding severely flooded – Image: Grant Falvey, LNP