Forecasters warn of 60mph winds
A severe weather warning has been issued as parts of southern England and South Wales are set to be battered by gusts of up to 60mph.
Forecasters cautioned that the strong south-westerly winds could affect h olidaymakers who are driving home after an extended Bank Holiday break.
A yellow weather warning - which means be aware - is in force until 7pm.
The winds will be strongest near the south coast this morning and then generally across south-west England and parts of South Wales later.
Met Office meteorologist Charles Powell said the conditions were unusual for southern Britain in May.
"We normally expect the weather to settle down as we get into summer," he said. "We might expect these winds in the north but for it to be across the far south of the UK is a little bit unusual at this time of the year.
"We're looking at around 50-60mph gusts in exposed areas. Inland we'll still see strong winds but probably not quite up to those figures.
" It is relatively late in the season to see that kind of wind speed."
A statement by the Met Office's chief forecaster said: " The public should be aware that these gusts may cause minor damage to trees and make travel tricky for the likes of towing vehicles."
A yellow warning was also issued for rain in Northern Ireland. This is expected to clear through the course of the afternoon.
Central parts of the UK are expected to be hit by downpours of heavy rain which will move northwards to central and northern Scotland by the end of the day.
Other parts of Britain are set to experience brighter but more showery conditions.