A BARRAGE of storms driven by unusually violent weather in the Atlantic threatens to batter Britain this autumn.

Persistent bouts of gales and torrential rain could keep the nation in the washing machine into winter.

The warning comes after this week saw the highest number of simultaneous tropical storms for 50 years churn the Atlantic.

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  • SUNRISE OVER ELY CATHEDRAL THIS MORNING

  • 'UNSETTLED'

    Cathal Nolan, meteorologist for Ireland’s Weather Channel, added: “While our weather may be entering a very settled period, across the tropical Atlantic conditions are far more disturbed with five active tropical storms or hurricanes being recorded.

    “This is the first time since 1971 that this has occurred.”

    Temperatures will lift into the 20Cs again this weekend bringing another boost of autumn sunshine.

    Met Office meteorologist Matthew Box said: “It will be predominantly sunny and dry at the weekend with high pressure in charge.

    “Temperatures are expected to rise above average with highs of around 25C (77F) forecast for Sunday.

    “Unsettled weather is possibly on the cards towards the end of September.

    “While it is still early, a number of these cyclones in the Atlantic could have some influence on our weather as we head towards the final part of September.”

  • CALM BEFORE THE STORM

    Britain is about to bask in another burst of warmth next week thanks in part to unusually disturbed Atlantic weather conditions.

    However, the rare five-storm formation seen this week for the first time since 1971 could signal deeply unsettled weather on the way later in the season.

    Mr Dale said: “This was the first time since 1971 to see this many tropical depressions in the Atlantic all at the same time.

    “We could see remnants of one of these affect the weather, and much like earlier this week, they are likely to bring some warmer temperatures with air from the south.

    “This is because the jet stream is north of the UK at the moment, so the remnants of these storms, rather than being pulled across the country, pass to the north encouraging a southerly air flow.

    “Looking further forward, if the jet stream moves southwards, which it tends to do later in the season, these will bring stormier conditions.

    “This is looking like a very active tropical storm season.”

  • KICKING OFF

    The autumn onslaught, driven in part by unusually warm sea temperatures, is likely to kick off within weeks, forecasters warn.

    Jim Dale, meteorologist for British Weather Services, said: “There is a good chance of seeing an unusually high number of storms this autumn from October into November.

    “One of the drivers will be higher sea temperatures which put a lot of energy into the atmosphere and contribute to stormier conditions which are then steered in by the jet stream.

    “Another aspect is the US hurricane system, and we could get a few of these ex-hurricanes steered towards the UK bringing some very unsettled conditions this autumn.

    “Although it will depend on the jet stream which is needed to bring storm remnants across the Atlantic to the UK, this year looks like delivering more of these than usual.”

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