Gales crash the Cornish coast at Porthleven yesterday
Britain's storms claimed their first victim last night as a man died after being trapped in his car by flood water and heavy rain
The victim, was caught in Chew Stoke in Somerset as flood waters wedged his car under a bridge near a ford.
Emergency services were called and the man was pronounced dead at the scene.
Meanwhile Britain is braced for yet more devastating storms tomorrow, which are set to bring torrential rain and 100mph gales.
The entire country is on flood alert with hurricane-force gusts likely to fell trees and damage buildings.
Forecasters said flood-hit regions face further mayhem as a deep depression from the Continent roars in tomorrow morning.
And parts of the country that have so far escaped the worst of the downpours face a battering with virtually everywhere on standby for lashing rain.
A car negotiates a flooded road in Paisley, Scotland
Commuters this morning were also facing disruption to their journeys due to the wet weather as trains were delayed in the South West, North West, north Wales and south west Scotland.
The relentless wet weather left parts of the South and South-west knee-deep in floodwater yesterday.
The Met Office issued a severe weekend weather warning covering the whole of England.
Forecaster Charlie Powell said parts of the country can expect the rain and gales to continue into next week. "It is looking very changeable and we will probably be issuing further warnings."
Jonathan Powell, forecaster for Vantage Weather Services, said the UK was in the midst of a "historic storm event". He warned that a month's worth of rain was set to fall at the weekend in parts of the country with gusts likely to fell trees and cause structural damage.
"This is the worst back-to-back onslaught of storms we have seen in decades and we are on course for another killer blow at the weekend with torrential downpours bringing at least a couple of inches on both days and gusts exceeding 100mph."
The Environment Agency last night issued 151 flood alerts and 82 more serious flood warnings.
A spokesman said: "Flooding has already led to significant travel disruption and we are keeping the Highways Agency and rail operators up to date with the latest forecast.
"Saturday and Sunday are set to see more wet weather across the country with the possibility of further significant disruption caused by flooding."
Jim Dale, forecaster for British Weather Services, said Britain was in the middle of an "extremely hostile" storm system.
Ducks swim near to a car, stranded in floodwater in Evesham, Worcestershire
"The impact of this weather is going to be huge. From Saturday it is going to get progressively worse again with very strong winds and heavy rain due to low pressure coming from the Bay of Biscay. This is a time for people really to be prepared. This is an extremely hostile weather event."
The threat of extreme weather last night prompted a warning from the Royal Lifesaving Society. Chief executive Di Standley said: "It's vital not to underestimate the power of floodwater. We're calling on everyone to take action to protect themselves and their loved ones." Heavy downpours yesterday turned roads into rivers and prompted thousands of homeowners to put up flood defences.
Some 500 homes lost power as lightning struck Dumfries and Galloway while Cornwall Council advised residents to stock up on sandbags.
Around 20 families were forced to spend Wednesday night in a village hall near Tiverton, Devon, after the embankment of the Great Western Canal collapsed, allowing millions of gallons of water to escape.
A man walks along the sea front in Helensburgh, Scotland
Police closed the road through the village and trains between Exeter and Taunton and between Plymouth and Bristol were cancelled, causing widespread disruption. In Oxford a houseboat sank after breaking its moorings in the Thames.
Four women were rescued from a car stuck in 3ft deep floodwater in Sturminster Marshall, Dorset. and a robbery trial was halted after high winds smashed four huge glass windows at Warwick Crown Court yesterday afternoon.
One court worker said: "It was mayhem. The wind was smashing into the building and suddenly the glass just shattered. It was a miracle no one was seriously hurt."
The AA last night said it had experienced record call-outs as motorists continued to ignore warnings about driving on flooded roads. By midday yesterday it had attended around 4,600 breakdowns with around 900 calls coming in every hour. Spokesman Darron Burness, head of special operations, said: "Stay out of floodwater where possible, certainly if it's moving or more than four inches deep."
The bad weather is delaying the harvesting of Christmas trees, which should by now be in full swing.
Alex Theobald, of Cadeby Tree Trust in Leicestershire, said: "The weather has put us back at least three days. We are having to take the trees out of the fields individually rather than loading them on to trailers because of the mud."