Rescue operation underway for man off stormy Margate coast

Flooding brought by Storm Dennis this weekend could be worse than downpours pushed by Storm Ciara, the Met Office has warned.

Storm Dennis is set to sweep through the United Kingdom this weekend, bringing heavy rain and strong winds to much of the country.

With already saturated ground struggling to take on board water, forecasters are predicting more flooding is ahead.

Gusts of up to 50mph can be expected in some areas, with the Met Office predicting 100mm of rain will drench Britain.

The organisation's director of flood prevention, John Curtin, is most concerned about rainfall in Lancashire, parts of Yorkshire and Cumbria.

He said it "feels like we're at a tipping point, this is to do with climate change."

He added: "We need to think differently."

Mytholmroyd took a battering during Storm Ciara with the town centre flooding. Credit: PA

Forecasters say fast flowing or deep floodwater caused by expected heavy rain could cause "danger to life".

Storm Dennis is the fourth named storm of the season will hit the country from Saturday morning.

The UK’s week of miserable weather has seen a total of seven weather warnings issued by the Met Office for the weekend.

The town of Appleby-in-Westmorland, in Cumbria, was severely hit by flooding from Storm Ciara. Credit: PA
The UK faces further severe weather after Storm Ciara caused flooding and travel chaos. Credit: Twitter/South Shore Fire/Network Rail/PA

Forecasters predict "very heavy rain" will strike areas around the Brecon Beacons in South Wales, the Yorkshire Dales and Dartmoor in Devon for a 24 hour period.

On Sunday, a fourth amber warning for areas south of London - stretching from Andover in Hampshire eastwards - has also been issued from shortly after midnight until 6pm.

Conditions are likely to bring flooding to homes and businesses, causing damage to some buildings, the Met Office warned.

Trains, buses and roads could face closures, cancellations and delays. Speed restrictions could also be enforced on East Midlands Railway, with the TransPennine Express "likely to be disrupted".

National Rail warned high winds could "damage overhead lines and tracks," causing further delays on the railways.

It is expected the storm will simmer by the end of the weekend, with more normal conditions being restored for the start of the working week.

  • Calder Valley deluged with flood waters from Storm Ciara

The arrival of Storm Dennis comes just a week after Storm Ciara battered the country, bringing winds of over 90mph.

Met Office meteorologists said inland gusts could reach 50mph by Saturday afternoon, rising to 80mph in exposed area.

The AA has urged the public to follow safety advice on the roads when driving in windy conditions.

Ben Sheridan, AA patrol of the year, said: "Take extra care when passing high-sided vehicles, cyclists and motorbikes, and watch out for sudden gusts, which can blow debris, trees and even damaged vehicles into your path."

The second named storm of the season is set to bring heavy rain to areas across the UK. Credit: PA

A Royal Navy warship has been dispatched to help in an urgent search for a man in the sea off the Kent coast.

Lifeboats and the coastguard helicopter are scouring the sea near MargateHarbour after reports of a man overboard, HM Coastguard said.

Sixty-gun frigate HMS Winchester is believed to have responded to a relay call band is in the area, according to ship tracking data.

The urgent search operation comes as communities across the UK brace for the arrival of Storm Dennis on Sunday, just one week after Storm Ciara battered the nation.<

A distress call was received by the coastguard at 5.41am this morning and an extensive search of the area commenced.

The Environment Agency is also warning against taking "dangerous" so-called storm selfies.

Coastguards in Wales reported people "risking their lives for a photo" during Storm Ciara.

Individuals were spotted trying to capture a selfie or take dramatic pictures of waves along the coast whipped up by the high winds.