Storm Bella is due to lash London, Hertfordshire and Essex on Boxing Day with strong winds.

The Met Office said conditions across the UK will turn increasingly unsettled through to December 27, as a yellow warning of very windy weather has been issued.

The warning for the whole of England will be in force from 3pm on Boxing Day and there are warnings of disruptions to road, rail, air and ferry services, with longer journey times and cancellations possible.

The Met Office warns some roads and bridges in the UK may close due ot the weather, and power cuts may occur in some areas. Some damage to buildings, such as tiles blown from roofs, could happen.

Alex Burkill, a meteorologist for the Met Office told the PA news agency: “There’s been a lot of wet weather around, we’ve had a heavy rain across much of England and Wales, particularly southern parts of Wales but also further east.

“Most places in England and Wales have been really wet and we’ve seen strengthening winds too, there have been some gales in exposed parts, so quite unpleasant really.”

Mr Burkill later said the rainfall would cease overnight into Christmas Eve with “lots of fine weather around, with lots of sunshine and a cold northerly flow.”

Across the country, more than 108 flood warnings and 159 flood alerts were still in force at 10am on Thursday as huge amounts of water worked its way through river catchments.