Travel alert as more rain forecast
Motorists have been warned to watch out as further heavy rain is expected across England and Wales with the wet weather set to continue for the next week.
The Environment Agency said five flood warnings remained in place in south-west England where some areas saw up to 50mm of rain (2in) on Wednesday. More than 40 flood alerts were also in place across the rest of the country.
Meanwhile, high winds have torn through Rugby in Warwickshire, blowing the roof from one home and damaging others in what residents have described as a "mini tornado".
A Warwickshire Police spokeswoman said: "One house in Adams Street is reported to have had the roof blown off, and another suffered extensive damage when wind blew the chimney stack down. Telephone lines have also been blown down in the high winds, which some residents are describing as like a mini tornado."
Paul Knightley, forecaster at MeteoGroup, the weather division of the Press Association, said it was quite probable a tornado did occur in the area. Meteorologically speaking, he said, there is no such thing as a "mini tornado" as there are varying degrees of strength when talking about tornadoes but they are defined as violently rotating columns of air pendant from a thunderstorm cloud, but not their size.
An investigation has yet to be carried out by meteorologists, but damage reported by residents in Rugby that showed a contained and focused area of damage could mean it was a tornado.
Paul Mott, forecaster at MeteoGroup, the weather division of the Press Association, warned of localised flooding. He said: "It's going to be another rainy day, although London and the South East are slightly better off. There'll be one or two showers in the morning but it will be better by the afternoon."
He continued: "Otherwise elsewhere across the country it will be mostly unsettled with heavy rain and showers at times. There is already quite a lot of surface water on the roads, particularly in the Midlands, Yorkshire and north-east England so there will be lots of spray."
Mr Mott said the rain would continue into the evening. He added: "It's going to stay unsettled over the next seven days with frequent showers and persistent rain. Sunday looks to be a washout with up to an inch of rain falling across England and Wales."
The Environment Agency has previously warned that the drought gripping swathes of England could increase the risk of flash flooding as rain is less easily absorbed by dry, compacted soils, instead running off and causing localised floods. And while the rain may be welcome for gardeners and farmers in drought-affected areas, the downpours are not enough to alleviate the drought that stems from two unusually dry winters in a row.