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Body of 80-year-old woman found in flooded river as Storm Barra batters UK

A pensioner has died after being pulled from a flooded river as Storm Barra continues to batter Britain with 80mph gales, hail, and snow.

Intense tornados and a 'weather bomb' have prompted an urgent danger to life warning as Brits were told up to "12 inches of snow" is set to bury the country.

Venetia Smith, 80, went missing from her home in Blandford, Dorset, yesterday morning, prompting her family to call the police.

The elderly woman was tragically found in the River Stour after her stroller was spotted at a bridge crossing near a supermarket.

The Met Office has said the ferocious weather front moving in from the Atlantic will explode across the UK, causing travel chaos and serious safety concerns.

The storm has toppled trees, whipped up 35ft waves, triggered flood warnings and brought down power lines, causing more energy outages.

Meteorologists explained it had now officially become a 'weather bomb' - also known as an 'explosive cyclogenesis' - which occurred when the central pressure of Storm Barra fell more than 24 millibars in a 24 hour period.

The low pressure system fell from a pressure of 1017mb at 6am on Monday to 961mb at 6am yesterday.

They also flagged up that forecast maps were showing small breaks in the line convection, suggesting tornadoes or weak funnel clouds may also let rip.

A fallen tree has blocked the A702 near Coulter in South Lanarkshire as Storm Barra sets in Credit: PA

The Met said there was a "small chance" of localised whirlwinds forming this afternoon across England and Wales, but ensured they are usually short-lived.

Aggressive gusts of 77mph winds have already been recorded in Berry Head, Devon, as Barra moved in from the west.

Almost all of the country was covered by yellow weather warnings for snow, ice, and wind, with a five-day deep freeze on the way.

Schools were yesterday shut and locals have been told to stay indoors if they can in Ireland after a rare red warning was introduced in Cork, Kerry and Clare.

Network Rail imposed restrictions on train speeds amid the hurricane-force winds, while planes buffeted as they came into land.

Mighty waves pummelled into piers across the coast, with the Met warning the large waves coupled with wind gusts could pose a safety risk if beach materials are launched onto the sea front, coastal roads and properties.

Trees continue to tumble across the country, blocking roads and destroying homes as Barra competes with the damage of last week's Storm Arwen.