VIDEO: Major UK storm winds hit South West hours before forecast
THE latest forecast from the Met Office warns of a major Atlantic storm set to move across the UK over the next 24 hours, bringing heavy rain and very strong winds to parts of England and Wales.
Somerset is already feeling the early effects of the storm in places. A tree has been blown down in The Meadows, Shepton Mallet.
And Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue have made several call outs to correct the precarious position of structures like a wooden sign in Bridgwater and a wind turbine in Devon.
This morning's sunny spells have been replaced by grey sky and the wind has been persistently strong all day.
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The Met Office says the storm is set to deepen rapidly just to the south west of the UK late today, before moving into western areas in the very early hours of Monday morning.
It's then expected to track rapidly across the country, moving off into the North Sea by late morning - by which time the strongest winds will have passed.
Gusts of 60-70mph are expected in southern parts of England and Wales, with gusts of 80mph or more in places - particularly around southern and south western coasts.
Heavy rain will accompany the storm, with a chance of some localised surface water flooding.
The Met Office has issued Severe Weather Warnings for potential disruption from both the strong winds and the rainfall.
A yellow warning of rain has been given to Somerset and other areas. This means persistent, heavy rain is likely to set in at the end of Sunday, accompanied by strengthening winds.
The public should be aware that surface water flooding may develop quite rapidly.
Martin Young, Chief Forecaster at the Met Office, said: "While this is a major storm for the UK, we don't currently expect winds to be as strong as those seen in the 'Great Storm' of 1987 or the 'Burns Day storm' of 1990.
"This weather system is typical of what we expect to see in winter but as it's coming in during autumn - when trees are in leaf - and while the ground is fairly saturated, it does pose some risks. We could see some uprooted trees or other damage from the winds and there's a chance of some surface water flooding from the rainfall - all of which could lead to some disruption."
People are advised to take precautions ahead of the storm and that travel conditions may be difficult during tomorrow morning. Delaying journeys to avoid the worst of the winds should be considered.
The Met Office will continue to work with partners across the UK to help minimise disruption.
A spokesman for the Environment Agency said: "Environment Agency teams are out working to minimise river flood risk, clearing debris from streams and unblocking culverts. We will continue to closely monitor the situation ready to issue flood warnings if needed. We are supporting local authorities who will respond to any reports of surface water flooding."
"Seafronts, quaysides, jetties should be avoided due to the risk of overtopping by waves and wind blown shingle. People are advised to sign up to receive free flood warnings from the Environment Agency website, check weather reports on the Met Office website and be prepared to change travel plans."
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See our related articles for advice from local authorities on what to do in the event of a storm, expected disruption to waste collections and more.