STORM Dennis has become a "bomb cyclone" as it charges towards Britain today – bringing heavy rain and gales worse than Storm Ciara.

Up to six inches of rain will fall in a matter of hours on already flooded ravaged parts of the country, as the Met Office issues eight weather warnings.

Follow our Storm Dennis live blog for all the latest news and updates

For the second weekend in a row Brits have been warned to stay inside where possible, with travel chaos expected and flights cancelled.

More than 230 easyJet flights in and out of the UK on Saturday have been cancelled due to the weather – affecting 40,000 passengers.

The British Army has been brought in to help "exhausted" West Yorkshire residents, readying to battle against more rain.

Experts have warned conditions will create a "perfect storm", with hundreds of homes at risk of flooding.

As of 11pm on Friday, there were 12 flood warnings – meaning flooding is "expected" – and 141 flood alerts – meaning flooding is possible – in places across the country.

Flood defences are due to be in operation this weekend, with additional temporary flood barriers being installed in Shropshire, Lancashire, Yorkshire and Surrey.

The latest storm is set to be worse than Ciara – dubbed storm of the century – due to rain falling on already saturated ground.

Ciara left a devastating trail of destruction after a month's worth of rain was dumped in just 24 hours last weekend and three people died.

What is a bomb cyclone?

A "bomb cyclone", or explosive cyclogenesis, is caused by a sharp drop in air pressure within a storm.

This can create winds of up to 95mph.

It happens when the air pressure drops by 24 millibars within 24 hours, which shifts the weather dramatically.

It got the name due to the dramatic drop which is similar to a bomb exploding.

Met Office meteorologist Greg Dewhurst said: "On a slightly more technical definition, it's called rapid cyclogenesis. It's a low pressure system which drops 24 milibars in 24 hours or more.

"An easier way to think of it is, it's a low pressure weather system that drops really quickly."

The storm cut off villages, left over 13,000 homes in the Midlands, the south west and Wales without power and sparked travel chaos on air, land and sea.

The Met Office has issued severe weather warnings covering most of the UK this weekend.

These include amber warnings stating that flooding could cause a danger to life, power cuts are expected and travel chaos.

Paul Davies, principal meteorologist at the Met Office, said the worst affected areas will be the north and south-west England and Wales, with the South East set to suffer the most on Sunday.

John Curtin, the agency's executive director of flood and coastal risk management, said Cumbria, Lancashire and Yorkshire were the areas he was most "concerned" about.

Mr Curtin said: "This (storm) could be a step up from what we have seen before."

"We had a big storm last weekend, (we now have) saturated catchments, snow melt and rainfall, so it is a perfect storm."

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More than 500 staff are on active incident duty and 30 mobile pumps have been deployed, the Environment Agency said.

Network Rail advised passengers to expect disruption on many routes due to flooding and to allow more time for their journeys.

Tracks could be flooded as the ground near parts of the railway is already saturated, particularly in the North West.

Cross-border journeys between England and Scotland were severely restricted last weekend.

Households living near rail lines are being urged to secure any loose items in their gardens, after several trampolines were blown on to tracks and overhead electric wires last weekend, blocking lines.

The storm is also likely to cause treacherous driving conditions.

RAC patrol of the year Ben Aldous said: "After so much wind and rain last weekend, drivers will again have to contend with some pretty dreadful conditions on the road with the arrival of Storm Dennis."

"With transport disruption likely, drivers should expect their journeys to take longer than usual and should stay up to date with the latest traffic and travel information, as the conditions could change quickly."

"It's essential motorists never attempt to drive through deep floodwater. Those that do are not just risking damage to their vehicles but risking their lives and those of their passengers."

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