A brave swimmer plunged into rough waters in hair-raising footage as Storm Brendan and its 80mph gales hurtled its way across the UK.
The monster gusts have already shattered electrical wiring, torn away shop signs and littered streets with large shards of metal and debris.
Motorbikes, caravans and bicycles have been pictured struggling in the storm across the country. They've been banned from Britannia Bridge, which separates Anglesey from mainland Wales, where other traffic is reduced to 30mph.
In one video, a hardy swimmer takes to the Irish Sea during the brutal storm. Buffeted by the enormous winds, the man struggles to steady himself on a ladder in Salthill, County Galway, where the storm has wreaked havoc on its way towards the UK.
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“I was a bit surprised to see him go in given the rough conditions but he is swimming there every day and was only in the water for about five minutes," one witness told Irish Mirror .
Storm Brendan posed a "threat to life and property" across Ireland yesterday.
But the storm has since barrelled east and 40mm of rain has swamped rural villages across the West Country.
Homes in Dunkerton and Radstock in Somerset have been destroyed. Firefighters frantically continue to drain water.
A café suffered structural damage in Newquay, Cornwall, this morning.
"There is debris on the pavement and electrics hanging down over the shop door.
"The sign flew through the air like a guided missile – anyone walking past when it fell could have been killed," one panicked witness said.
Coastal areas will be worst affected as the day goes on, forecasters say.
A spokesman for the Coastguards said: "Breaking waves along the coast can be unpredictable and quickly drag you away.
"Stay back, stay high and stay dry."
But up to 40mm will lash across some parts of the UK today. A yellow weatherwarning for rain will remain in place until 9am tomorrow for East Sussex, West Sussex, Greater London, Hampshire, Isle of Wight, Kent and Surrey.
"Outbreaks of rain will develop on Tuesday afternoon and continue into Wednesday morning," a forecaster for the Met Office said.
"The rain will be heavy at times, especially on hills. Many places will see 15 to 25 mm of rainfall with some places perhaps seeing 30 to 40 mm.
"This rain falling onto already very wet ground will likely lead to some localised flooding."
Typically, around 70mm of rain falls on average in January in the southeast of England so today's battering could see more than one month's precipitation in just a few hours.
Separate weather warnings for the 80mph gusts blanket most of England and Wales. It is feared these will be worst in the south and west.
As a result, travel will be difficult throughout the day and a short-term loss of power is likely in remote spots.
The Met Office spokesman added: "It’s likely that some coastal routes, sea fronts and coastal communities affected by spray and/or large waves."
Temperatures will be so cold in the northern tip of Scotland, snow is expected to fall.
However it will largely be mild across the rest of the country despite the winds. Many places in the south, including London, could see the mercury hit 14C.
In and around Manchester, it's likely to be around 10C.
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