Met Office forecaster Helen Chivers

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BRITAIN is being battered by a freak June monsoon.

Torrential rain and 70mph gales swept in off the Atlantic yesterday, with giant 40ft waves at sea.

The Met Office issued an amber warning, alerting hundreds of thousands of half-term holidaymakers in the south west to the freak storm.

South and west Wales were also hit.

Forecasters warned of roof damage and transport chaos, with trees uprooted.

The first day of England’s third cricket Test against the West Indies at Edgbaston, Birmingham, was washed out.

All the south will be hit today while the north of England also faces a drenching with 50mph wind gusts. Coastguards warned ships of a Force 10 storm but surfers at Porthcawl on the Welsh coast took advantage of giant waves.

Met Office forecaster Helen Chivers said: “Winds of this strength are unusual at this time of year.

“They will make travelling conditions difficult and may bring down trees.”

Fellow expert Brian Gaze of The Weather Outlook added: “This is the European Monsoon, a June weather pattern when westerly winds bringing cloud and rain return with a vengeance after easing during late spring.

“It’s a very poor early summer outlook, with further heavy showers or longer spells of rain heading for all parts.”

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