Weather forecast TODAY – Torrential rain and gale-force winds to hit Britain with THUNDER storms predicted later

BRITAIN is braced for stormy weather over the next two days as torrential rain, thunder and gale force winds sweep the country.

After a frosty start this morning, forecasters are warning of "damaging" gusts battering parts of the country later today.

BBC forecaster Helen Willetts said: ""Gale force winds will usher in clusters of heavy showers, hail and thunder in their midst.

"Little bit of sunshine in between but it is going to feel a lot cooler again because of those strong and gusty winds, which could cause some damage across England and Wales, potentially."

Follow our weather live blog for all the latest news and updates…

  • COLD START TO THURSDAY

  • BOOKIES CUT ODDS ON COLDEST OCTOBER

    Leading bookmaker Coral has cut the odds on next month being the coldest October on record in the UK to 1-2 (from 5-4) as temperatures are set to plummet further over the next few days.

    The firm even makes it just 5-4 for snow to fall in October, while it is now 4-9 for this winter to be the coldest since records began.

    “If temperatures continue to plummet at the rate they are doing, we could be set for an early winter this year,” said Coral's John Hill.

    “We make next month odds-on to be the coldest October on record, while the betting suggests we are set for a bitterly cold winter.”

  • AUTUMN'S BIG CHILL

    Plunging temperatures will welcome in the start of the new season.

    Met Office forecaster Emma Salter said: “Autumn has begun – it's official. There's a big dramatic shift taking place.

    “This time last week we were seeing temperatures peaking at 31c.

    “But cooler, fresher air is arriving from the Arctic and temperatures are going to plunge by the weekend.”

  • RUMBLES OF THUNDER

    BBC Weather's Matt Taylor warned a huge band of persistent rain will spark thunderstorms across Wales and stop at the border of Scotland.

    Gale force winds will also strengthen across southwest England to up to 50mph. On Friday, temperatures in Scotland will plunge to at least 1C.

    Mr Taylor said: “You will see a few rainbows across the country, a bit of thick cloud, a bit of rain and even the odd rumble of thunder.

    “The skies will change every so often, some sunshine and showers with rumbles of thunder across Wales.”

  • UNSETTLED WEATHER AHEAD

    The Met Office's long range weather report shows unsettled conditions will return after the weekend.

    It states: “Into the middle of next week, it is set to return to unsettled conditions.

    “There will be generally windy weather coupled with showers and occasional longer spells of rain at times.

    “The heaviest rain most likely in the west and northwest, which may also see gales, low likelihood of severe, at times.”

  • FROSTY WEEKEND FORECAST

    The Met Office has forecast widespread grass frost by Saturday.

    It blames Hurricane Teddy, churning towards Greenland, for helping to shunt stormy Atlantic low pressure and cold air to Britain.

    September had been on track to be one of the driest for 254 years in England and Wales. Most of the South has had virtually no rain all month.

    Met Office forecaster Marco Petagna said: “It's wet, wet, wet. The UK will move into much colder air on the north side of the Atlantic jet stream.

    “Hurricane Teddy's heat is building a high pressure area driving low pressure and cold air south across the UK.”

  • BANDS OF RAIN AND THUNDER

    Many southern and central areas of the UK will see sunshine but also bands of rain today.

    Showers accompanied by strong, gusty winds in places will bring a chilly start to the day.

    Heavier showers – with possible thunder – could affect part of South Wales.

  • 30MPH WIND GUSTS TODAY

    The Met Office has predicted wind gusts reaching around 30mph in parts of the UK today.

    Friday “won't be any warmer” either despite low pressure moving away into the North Sea and high pressure building in from the Atlantic.

    “There'll still be a lot of showers around,” added BBC forecaster Helen Willetts Willetts.

    The big difference tomorrow will be the wind which will switch to northerly, meaning it will come whistling through the North Sea coast.

  • SCOTLAND DROPS TO -5C

  • MERCURY DROP

    EXPERTS have predicted freezing temperatures will arrive shortly.

    Tom Morgan of the Met Office says there's been a “marked change in the weather”.

    Autumn arrived with a bang on Tuesday, bringing with it an abrupt end to the September heatwave which saw Brits bask on beaches in 25C temperatures.

  • STORM SEASON

    Temperatures have plunged by 10c as the first named storm of the season arrives.

    Storm Aiden, an 800 mile wide weather blitz, will bring 65 mile per hour winds and plenty of rain.

    And experts have predicted freezing temperatures will arrive shortly afterwards.

  • WHAT A SHOWER

    BRITS have been told to brrrrace for plunging temperatures, rain and strong gales this week.

    Showers will sweep across the country for the next few days while strong gales are set to batter the south west on Thursday.

    And Northerners are likely to see the first frost of the season too.

    Read the full story here.

  • COLD MORNINGS AHEAD

    This chilly scene in Glasgow will soon be a familiar one for all of us as temperatures begin to drop.

    Forecasters are predicting the first frost of the Autumn as the mercury plummets down to 14C in the coming days.

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