UK weather – Storm Callum causes chaos with 20,000 homes and businesses left without power, dozens of flights cancelled and train journeys delayed due to 76mph gales
Commuters have already been warned of travel chaos as trains and buses are cancelled, while some communities have been warned they could be cut off by flooded roads.
Dozens of flights at Cardiff and Exeter Airports have been cancelled along with 25 grounded planes at Belfast City Airport.
And a number of schools are expected to close as Callum – the third named storm of the season – barrels up the UK coast.
Western Power Distribution said more than 950 homes had been left without electricity in south-west England and nearly 100 were without power in south Wales.
Around 20,000 homes and businesses lost power across Ireland with Cork, Kerry and Donegal badly hit.
The Department of Education in Ireland issued a statement urging schools to "err on the side of caution" and close if any damage to school buildings in the storm could present "a risk to child safety".
Wind speeds of 76mph have already been recorded on the Isles of Scilly, while 60mph gales were recorded in Camborne in Cornwall and Milford Haven in Pembrokeshire.
The Met Office has warned heavy rainfall moving in from the South West could present a risk to life and issued a 36-hour amber warning for Wales.
Meteorologist Alex Burkhill warned floods were likely in Wales, while a yellow warning for wind and rain were in place up and down the UK.
He said: "We are also starting to see the rain push in to parts of south-west England and part of the Republic of Ireland.
"We've got a wind warning which covers all the western side of the UK. That in itself is likely to bring disruption to roads and there is likely to be some bridge closures and power outages.
"We also have yellow and amber warnings of between 50mm and 150mm of rain for Wales. That's quite a substantial amount of rain to come and could bring flooding."
The Met Office says Wales will bear the brunt of the storm with heavy rain causing fast-flowing and deep floodwaters, which are likely to make conditions difficult.
The amber warning remains in place until 6pm on Saturday, while the broader yellow rain and wind warnings that include parts of north-west and south-west England, western Scotland and Northern Ireland will remain in place until midnight on Friday.
Around 15mm of rain was recorded in just three hours in Whitchurch in Pembrokeshire this morning as the storm set in.
But rainfall totals could reach as high as 150mm over the Brecon Beacons, nearly as high as the monthly average of 170mm for Wales.
The high winds, combined with heavy rain, could see leaves and twigs blocking drains, making flooding more likely, Mr Burkhill said.
Windsor, the scene of Friday's royal wedding, looks set to escape the worst of the storm.
The South East is expected to be blustery but stay "quite dry", with temperatures possibly reaching up to 24C.
Meanwhile the Department of Education has urged schools, colleges and universities to "err on the side of caution" if there is an apparent risk to safety.
The wet weather is set to come on the tail-end of Tropical Storm Leslie — which is currently helping sweep up warm air from the Canary Islands to Britain.
Despite the storms, temperatures have been much higher for this time of year than usually expected during Autumn.
The last time temperatures exceeded 24C at this time of year was in October 2011 when a staggering 29.9C was clocked.
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