Storm Aurore is bringing heavy rain and blustery winds to southern England as amber and yellow severe weatherwarninga remain in force for parts of the country
A village in West Sussex was lashed by a ferocious ‘mini tornado’, locals have claimed, as Storm Aurore struck the south.
The storm is bringing heavy rain and blustery winds to southern England as amber and yellow severe weather warnings remain in force.
Experts predict as much as 60 mm (2,3ins) of rain could fall in just two to three hours leading to a risk of surface water flooding.
Earlier on Wednesday a suspected mini tornado caused havoc in Widnes, Cheshire with garden walls, bins and ornaments flung onto the main road.
Police have received reports of damage to properties, fallen walls, smashed car windows and debris on Widnes streets.
Now, residents of Ferring in West Sussex have taken to social media to claim they have also been struck by a tornado, with damage to gardens.
One person said: “I’m in Ferring, i was in my daughter’s room at the time and we heard a bang and the windows shook and both wondered what on earth has happened.”
Another said: “We wondered what on earth was going on outside! Hope everyone is safe.”
A third person wrote: “It’s terrible out there. I’ve just driven from Worthing to Ferring outskirts and it was not a pleasant experience and there’s a lot of standing water on the roads.”
Locals shared photos of damage to their gardens, including a smashed brick wall and toppled furniture.
Torro, the UK’s Tornado and Storm Research Organisation, asked residents to share their stories and send photos of damage to their gardens.
One person replied: “I am part of the team from Southern UK Stormchasers… we have had members reporting a possible tornado but as yet unconfirmed also.”
Some were not convinced that the area had in fact been hit by a tornado, with one saying: “We’re in North Ferring, it’s windy and very wet, but I’m not sure about a tornado.”
Elsewhere, footage on social media showed snow falling in Braemar as temperatures plunged in the region on a day of wild weather.
And flooding is causing travel chaos in many UK roads as heavy rain lashed the nation.
The M23 has been shut in both directions from Crawley to Pease Pottage because of the weather.
A crash on the road also saw a motorcyclist receive serious injuries after colliding with a car near Crawley in East Sussex.
A stretch of the M1 is also shut after a ‘serious crash’ involving multiple vehicles.
And the M26 in Kent saw motorists stranded as the road was flooded following lashings of heavy rain.
More than 140 flood warnings and alerts were issued in England as of Thursday morning.
The amber and yellow severe weather warnings were due to expire overnight.
What is the weather like where you are? Let us know in the comments below.