HAMPSHIRE is braced for heavy rain and high winds as the weekend will “feel more like autumn than August”, forecasters told the Gazette.

Heavy rain across Basingstoke and beyond today will give way to gale-force winds and "unseasonable" weather as the weekend begins. At times, there could be periods of hail, thunder and lightning.

Sarah Kent, from the Met Office, told the Gazette tomorrow could see winds as strong as 50 mph roar across the county as temperatures are set to cool from the 22C locals have experienced this week. 

“Showers will be very heavy in places for the rest of Friday which could cause some really nasty driving conditions for commuters and people on their way home from work,” she said.

But the main concern as the weekend approaches is the gusts of wind, the forecaster said.

“We have a yellow warning for wind which applies for Basingstoke. This is very unseasonable weather and not typical of August.

“People need to be aware there will some really tricky driving conditions on Saturday as the winds strengthen. At times they could reach up to 40-50mph,” Ms Kent said.

 “The main thing is the sheer force of the wind. It could cause some minor damage to trees.”

Due to the forecast, people travelling over the weekend are being warned to expect delays and disruption to their journeys.

Boardmasters music festival in Newquay, Cornwall, was cancelled at the 11th hour in anticipation of the bad weather.

While performances at the event, which included slots from stars such as Wu-Tang Clan, Florence + The Machine and Foals, were not due to begin until Friday, doors were set to open to visitors on Wednesday.

In a statement posted on Twitter at 11pm on Tuesday, the festival said "we sincerely regret the disappointment to fans, and apologise for any disruption caused to local businesses".

It added: "The safety of you, the fans and attendees, as well as performers and crew comes first."