A low-pressure system, named Storm Aurore by Météo-France, is bringing heavy rain and blustery winds to southern England. Amber and yellow national severe weather warnings are in place across parts of southern England where 60 mm of rain could fall in just 2 to 3 hours leading to a risk of surface water flooding.

Storm Aurore, which will move through the English Channel overnight Wednesday into Thursday morning, will also bring some severe weather for France and the Channel Islands.  

Météo-France named the storm because of the significant impacts expected in France. The French meteorological service is part of a different storm naming group than the Met Office, which means that the next storm named by either Met Eireann, KNMI or the Met Office will still be Storm Arwen, and will be named when more significant impacts are expected in one of those countries. 

The northern part of the frontal system wrapped around Storm Aurore glances southern England as the system moves eastwards. Associated heavy rain has led to the Met Office  issuing amber and yellow warnings for rain that cover southern England, from 16:00 on Wednesday to 03:00 Thursday morning. However, the most impactful and widespread impacts associated with Aurore will be in its southern flank, which sits over northern France.   

The heavy rain in England could see between 15mm and 25mm fall in the warning area, with up to 60mm possible in some places. This will be associated with some coastal gales, with winds of up to 45mph possible in some exposed locations, and widely breezy elsewhere.  

“The worst weather associated with Aurore will be on its southern flank, over northern France. The northern edge of Aurore will catch southern England, dealing us a glancing blow,” said Met Office Chief Operational Meteorologist Dan Suri.  

“What this means for us is some heavy rain this evening and overnight. The Channel Islands, however, being closer to France, will be more directly in the firing line and experience high winds this evening and overnight. Of course, high winds will also affect the English Channel so marine interests are encouraged to keep abreast of the shipping forecast.”  

Unsettled Weekend 

The unsettled theme is set to continue for much of the UK through to the weekend, with sporadic showers expected, as well as a shift to some cooler conditions and a continuing chance of some overnight frost, especially in northern areas.  

Thursday will see the continued influence of some snow flurries over high ground in Scotland with that risk also extending to high ground in Northumberland Fells and the Pennines.  

Friday is set to be drier for many, but rain showers are still expected in western Scotland and in some areas of central and northern England and Wales and continuing breezy conditions. 

The weekend is set to see some more persistent rain, with a band of rain affecting the far northwest early on Saturday and spreading across the UK through the weekend, with the heaviest rain expected in western Scotland, where 40-60mm of rain could fall in 24 hours. Northern Ireland, northern England and Wales, could see up to 20mm of rain could fall over 6 hours. This band of rain weakens as it tracks to the southeast, but southern and central areas will still see some slow moving areas of thicker cloud and some light rain.  

Met Office Expert Operational Meteorologist Adam Thornhill said, “It’s looking like an unsettled weekend will be the main theme for most, as an area of persistent rain and strong winds arrive into the far northwest on Saturday morning. This will gradually slip towards the southeast through the weekend and the far southeast sees the best of the settled weather before the rain arrives late on Sunday. 

“The unsettled theme will coincide with temperatures dropping from the unseasonably warm spell we’ve seen in recent days, as they drop back closer to autumnal averages with highs generally of 14°C, although Sunday will once again see more milder temperatures.” 

Keep up to date with the latest forecast on the Met Office website

Keep track of current weather warnings on the weather warning page.