A huge surge of rare sea foam submerged beachgoers in Cornwall on Thursday after a foot of rain fell on Britain and Welsh rivers burst their banks.
Bathers at Treyarnon Bay beach in North Cornwall were caught out the foam as it rolled onto the beach extremely quickly, prompting members of the RNLI to come to their rescue.
Dramatic photos show an RNLI 4×4 car half-submerged by the foam as a lifeguard waded through it to open the vehicle’s door.
The stormy weather was caused by remnants of a tropical hurricane barrelling over the Atlantic Ocean – prompting a ‘danger to life’ flood warning.
Met Office warnings were issued from Thursday until Sunday, covering Wales and North West England, with the worst-affected areas getting up to 250mm (10in) of rain between today and Saturday – which is also Halloween.
Further ‘significant’ rainfall is expected on Sunday, following a month which has already seen the UK’s wettest day since records began – when an average of 31.7mm (1.25in) of rain fell across the country on October 3.
The deluge is coming from the remains of Hurricane Zeta, which is on its way north-east from the Gulf of Mexico. Flooding could potentially affect rivers within Wales, plus the Wye and Severn including downstream in England.
The conditions could see Wales and Cumbria break records for October rainfall – and the Met Office said homes and businesses could be flooded, while ‘fast flowing or deep floodwater is possible, causing a danger to life’.
On Thursday, the River Conwy burst its banks – causing major flooding at Llanrwst in North Wales – and gigantic waves will hit the Atlantic coast as the remnants of Hurricane Epsilon join with a deep area of low pressure near Iceland.
A huge surge of rare sea foam submerged beachgoers in Cornwall on Thursday after a foot of rain fell on Britain and Welsh rivers burst their banks
Bathers at Treyarnon Bay beach in North Cornwall were caught out the foam as it rolled onto the beach extremely quickly, prompting members of the RNLI to come to their rescue
Dramatic photos show an RNLI 4×4 car half-submerged by the foam as a lifeguard waded through it to open the vehicle’s door
Surfers enjoy the large waves in the sea off Bournemouth beach in Dorset today as the UK faces severe weather conditions
Motorists faced difficult driving conditions on the M25 between Orpington and Swanley in Kent on Thursday morning
A swimmer risk his life by tombstoning from the sea wall at Sennen Cove in Cornwall into the sea during a heavy storm
A young man rides his bicycle through a flooded park after the River Conwy burst its banks in Llanrwst, North Wales, on Thursday
A playground is flooded in Llanrwst, North Wales, on Thursday afternoon after the River Conwy burst its banks
Heavy rainfall was expected to fall in Wales and North West England on Thursday, where weather warnings have been imposed (above)
Met Office spokesman John Griffiths said: ‘The rain is going to affect areas of the country which were hit by flooding in February, some of which are still recovering.’
The first weather warning lasted from 9am on Thursday and the end of Friday, for heavy rain and gales. The worst areas on Wales and Cumbria are set to receive 100mm (4in) to 150mm (6in) of rain.
Elsewhere in the warning area high ground could receive 50mm (2in) to 80mm (3.2in), and 30mm (1.2in) to 40mm (1.6ins) could fall at lower levels.
A second warning lasts through Saturday, bringing up to another 100mm (4in) over the worst-affected hills and mountains, 60mm (2.4in) elsewhere on high ground and 25mm (1in) elsewhere.
A woman tries to evade the splash from a van this afternoon after the River Conwy burst its banks in Llanrwst, North Wales
Beachgoers scrambled to evade the sea foam in Cornwall as it rushed on to the sand amid the bad weather
Motorists drive through a flooded road in Llanrwst, North Wales, this afternoon after the River Conwy burst its banks
Surfers enjoy the large waves in the sea off Bournemouth beach in Dorset on Thursday as parts of the UK face weather warnings
Saltburn Pier reflects off wet sand during sunrise on Thursday at Saltburn-by-the-Sea in Redcar and Cleveland, North Yorkshire
A calm and tranquil start to the day as paddleboarders enjoy a glide along the waters of the North Sea at Cullercoats on Thursday
Predicted rainfall maps for Thursday (left) and Friday (right) show how downpours will be heaviest in western areas
The weekend is also expected to be a washout for many areas of Britain with further heavy rain especially in the West
Hurricane Zeta is barrelling over the Atlantic Ocean from the US and its remnants are set to drench parts of Britain
Families risk their lives by posing for selfies by the sea wall in Lyme Regis, West Dorset, yesterday during stormy conditions
The walkers were seen attempting to dodge huge waves as they crashed against the side of the Cobb in Lyme Regis yesterday
Fiery sunrise is a red alert before heavy rain arrives
It was a truly spectacular sunrise to warm the soul of anyone lucky enough to see it.
But the old adage ‘red sky in the morning, shepherd’s warning’ proved all too true as heavy rain soon spoiled the stunning view over Kilbarchan, Renfrewshire.
According to the Met Office, a red sunrise happens after areas of high pressure – and the good weather – have moved on towards the East.
Often, they mean a low-pressure front is following on behind – along with the wind and rain. So for shepherds and anyone else planning to spend time outdoors, they really are a red alert.
The sun rises over Kilbarchan in Renfrewshire yesterday morning before heavy rain soon spoiled the stunning view
The last warning covers through most of Sunday, when ‘prolonged spells of heavy rain are likely across Wales and northwest England’.
The Met Office said: ‘Homes and businesses could be flooded, causing damage to some buildings; fast flowing or deep floodwater is possible, causing a danger to life.
‘Some communities may be cut off by flooded roads.’
Forecasters also warn of possible power cuts and transport delays and disruption. The problems could be exacerbated by fallen leaves blocking drains and gullies.
Heavy rain is also expected to fall elsewhere across the country on Saturday and Sunday.
The only respite is due to be on Friday, when eastern, central and southern areas are set to be mostly dry and bright.
According to Met Office figures, the wettest October on record for the entire country was 1903, when 225.9mm (8.9in) fell on average across the UK, 195.4mm (7.7in) in England and 321.5mm (12.7in) in Wales.
Cumbria’s wettest October was 1967, when 358mm (14.1in) fell. The county has already received 162mm (6.4in) so far this month.
Figures for October 1 to 27 this year show an average of 147.6mm (5.8in) of rain across the UK, 158.8mm (6.25in) in Wales and 121mm (4.7in) in England.
Road operator Bear Scotland had already announced that the A83 at the Rest and be Thankful in Argyll – hit by a landslide in August – will remain closed overnight until late November.
This is because of fears of the risk of further movement in the mountain above the road.
A diversionary route will be available from 6pm each night via the Old Military Road.