STORM Ernesto has finally hit Britain with downpours, strong winds and flood threats as Sunday is set to be a washout for much of the UK.
The tropical weather system, which started in the Atlantic, swept in from the west in the early hours of this morning with up to 30mm of rain falling overnight.
The North of England and Scotland bore the brunt of Ernesto’s wrath as heavy rain poured throughout the night as it moves out across the North Sea.
Flood alerts are in place for the rivers Ehen, Calder, Irt, Esk and Tees – with fears they could swell as downpours are set to last until around midday.
Forecasters say the South West of England and Wales will see strong winds, with gusts of up to 40mph possible in coastal areas.
The winds could even waft the smoke from wildfires from Canada and California across the Atlantic and small amounts of soot may already be detectable in the air today.
And despite the downpours, it’s still going to be hot and humid – especially in the South – where temperatures will reach up to 25C.
Met Office forecaster Becky Mitchell said: “Heavy rain tracking across Northern Ireland, Southern Scotland and Northern England – this is the remnants of tropical Storm Ernesto.
“Although the winds won’t be that strong where we see the heaviest rain, the winds will pick up along the coast of Wales and South West England.
“In the heavy rain we could widely see 10-20mm, possibly quite a bit more across Cumbria.
“To the start the day on Sunday, a cloudy and wet note for a lot of parts.
“The heaviest rain working its way out into the North Sea.
“By the afternoon we are left with a good deal of cloud, some light outbreaks of rain and drizzle here and there but eventually possibly some brighter spells breaking through that cloud at times.
“Where we see the sunshine in the South it will feel pretty warm and humid, 24C or 25C.
“The best of the sunshine on Sunday will be across Northern Ireland and North West Scotland. Here it will feel a touch fresher.
“Those brighter conditions could work their way into other western areas in time for the evening on Sunday.
“Wales, the Midlands and parts of Northern England could see a much brighter end to the day.
“Looking ahead to the start of next week, it stays pretty warm and humid for the bulk of the UK.
“Temperatures could reach the high 20s on Tuesday and Wednesday.
MOST READ IN NEWS
“But this fresher air is never too far away and eventually towards the end of the week temperatures will return back towards average.
“Although it will be quite warm across the south we will have quite a lot of cloud to start next week.
“Some brighter spells are possible and it will feel hot and humid right the way through until Friday.”