FLOODING forced the closure of the southbound lane of the A1 near Darlington this morning.

One lane was closed due to flooding on A1(M) Southbound between J58 A68 (Burtree) and J57 A66(M) Darlington.

It caused congestion throughout rush hour.

Highways England have now confirmed that all lanes are now reopened but a spokesman urged drivers to continue with caution due to standing water on the region's roads.

Meanwhile, on the A66, an accident blocked one lane westbound around the Sadberge turn off causing queing traffic at around 9am.

Standing water on Darlington's Grange Road also caused traffic problems in the morning but this cleared up by around 10am.

The Northern Echo:

Standing water on Grange Road, Darlington, earlier this morning

Motorists were also advised to avoid the A19 northbound near Murton due to an accident earlier this morning.

The incident caused severe delays on the northbound carriage between the A182 Murton Interchange and the A690 Durham Road, Herrington Interchange.

The accident happened early this morning, before 7am, and delays continued throughout rush hour due to the road being partially blocked.

The Met Office has forecast winds of up to 60mph for parts of the country

Warnings for rain and wind came into force across nearly all of the UK today as unseasonal weather caused widespread disruption.

The weather warnings will be cut back on Sunday to cover only northern England, where thunderstorms are likely, and none are currently in place for Monday.

The Met Office had previously described the conditions as "more like autumn than August" and forecast winds of up to 60mph in some places.

Northern England, Scotland and Northern Ireland may also be hit by thunderstorms over the weekend.

Richard Leonard, head of road safety at Highways England, urged drivers to check conditions before they travel and "consider if their journey is necessary".

"In high winds, there's a particular risk to lorries, caravans and motorbikes so we'd advise drivers of these vehicles to slow down and avoid using exposed sections of road if possible," he said.

The RNLI has also warned people visiting the coast to beware of large waves and storms.