The Environment Agency has put in place 20 flood alerts -- meaning flooding is possible -- in the South East, the West, Midlands and Pembrokeshire in Wales.

Forecasters are warning the public to be aware of localised flooding and travel disruption.

The M25 at Junction 9 is currently closed after a section of the anti-clockwise carriageway caved in after heavy rain last night.

Leon Brown, meteorologist, from the Weather Channel UK said: "The rain will move steadily north and east across central to eastern and northern Britain today, but it will be a very wet morning for much of England.

"A much better afternoon across England and Wales is expected with lighter winds and some sunshine, but there is risk of some locally heavy showers and thunder over southern Devon and Cornwall. It will be a wet afternoon for eastern Scotland with 10 to 20mm rainfall for the South East Highlands and Grampians."

Gales of up to 100mph (160kph) were recorded at Berry Head in Devon yesterday.

A search was called off in Torquay after an elderly man was seen being swept away during the poor weather. Large waves crashed over the sea wall at Meadfoot Sea Road and the man disappeared from view at 9.30pm.

A Torquay Coastguard spokesman said: "Weather conditions on scene are described as poor, with 1.5m swell and a strong onshore wind. Unless any new information comes to light, the search has been stood down."

supercomputer weather UK Met office
Weather warnings in place across large parts of the UK. Reuters