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Huge waves, torrential rain and flooding as 'Winter Storm Hercules' heads over from US to Europe

By Independent — last modified Jan 07, 2014 01:22 PM
UK: Met Office severe weather warnings continue for south and southeast until Wednesday morning. As reported by the Independent.

Published: 2014-01-07 00:00:00
Topics: Weather
Countries: Ireland , United Kingdom

Huge waves, torrential rain and flooding as 'Winter Storm Hercules' heads over from US to Europe

© The Independent

More flooding is expected across the UK today and tomorrow as the west coast counted its losses following the arrival of "Winter Storm Hercules", the system which has left behind a record-breaking deep freeze in the US.

Around 115 less serious flood warnings remain in place across the country, including in Dorset, Oxfordshire, south Wiltshire, Hampshire and along the river Thames, while more than 200 low-level "flooding is possible" alerts have been issued.

The Met Office said a further band of heavy showers will hit the south and southeast today, and will continue to cause a localised flooding risk throughout Tuesday and into early Wednesday.

Yesterday waves were recorded as high as 27ft at Land's End, and reports on surfing forecast websites suggested scores of professional "big wave chasers" had followed Hercules' movements across the Atlantic.

The British big wave surfer Andrew Cotton wrote on his official Facebook page on Monday: "With the 'biggest swell ever' on the charts for Europe I'm packing all my equipment and hitting the road."

He told the action sports news outlet Grind TV: "We left for Ireland on Saturday, getting on the last ferry before they were all cancelled."

The Met Office's chief forecaster said a "large, deep depression" was whipping up waves out to sea as a system of low pressures moved northeastwards across the Atlantic.

Nicola Maxey, a spokesperson for the Met Office, confirmed that Britain was feeling the effects of the same system that had led to such extraordinary conditions in the US over the past week.

She told The Independent the storm was "a different beast" after moving across the ocean, picking up water but also gaining heat. It passed to the west of Scotland later on Monday, but left behind a trail of devastation and took visible chunks out of much of the coastline.

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