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Last Updated: Monday, 12 January, 2004, 10:30 GMT
Extreme storms threat subsides
Steve Hall took this dramatic photo from Rhoose Point near Barry
A tornado hit the Bristol Channel on Sunday
Severe storms due to hit southern England have moved away but forecasters still predict high winds and rain.

The South West experienced downpours and 50mph winds on Monday morning.

The strongest gales are in the English Channel but gusts could still reach 60mph along the south coast - not as damaging as initially feared.

A second storm is expected to hit the south of the country on Monday night and Tuesday morning, with possible transport disruption in the South West.

After the morning's heavy rain in the South West, the AA said there were no major problems on roads in the region.

However, Devon and Cornwall Police urged drivers to watch out for surface water.

A BBC Weather Centre forecaster said: "It was stormy this morning in the South West, but winds of up to 50mph were not as strong as we thought."

The highest winds are expected to travel east across the English Channel and continue into Europe.

But southern England is set to experience heavy rain for most of the morning.

A second depression is set to cross the UK later on Monday, with gale force winds up to 70mph possible in South Wales and the South West.


The Cunard shipping line said the weather would not affect the maiden voyage of the world's biggest and most expensive cruise ship.

The Queen Mary 2 will set sail from Southampton at 1700 GMT.

On Friday, forecasters predicted gusts of up to 100mph, which was revised to 60mph on Monday.

But the Met Office warned the most damaging winds may occur in countries such as Holland, Belgium and northern Germany, which could experience gusts of up to 90 or 100mph later on Monday and into Tuesday.

The warnings came after a waterspout measuring hundreds of feet was seen in the Bristol Channel on Sunday.

It did not cause any damage and died out after 20 minutes.

A Met Office spokesman said such phenomena were not unusual, with between 50 and 100 tornadoes and waterspouts in and around the UK each year.

The BBC's Yvonne Ndege
"There is one flood warning in the north Cornwall area"


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