A POPULAR beachfront bar in Weymouth has been forced to temporarily close after being battered by heavy winds - as Dorset was preparing itself for more torrential conditions and gale-force winds with the arrival of Storm Francis.

Recent turbulent weather took its toll on the Sunset Bar and Restaurant, in Bowleaze Cove, with notable damage caused to the outdoor decking seating area and drinks kiosk.

Bosses have been forced to close temporarily for repair works to be carried out after being hit by Storm Ellen, but they remain optimistic that they will be back serving customers within days.

A spokesman for the bar said: “We’re just in the process of putting it back together now and we should be open again in the next few days.

“There wasn’t too much damage done really, aside from the seaweed everywhere.

“There’s not much that can be done about it, it’s just nature really."

Storm Ellen swept across Dorset last Friday and Saturday, with lifeboats and Coastguards called to several reports of people in trouble in treacherous seas despite warnings of dangerous conditions including high waves and strong winds.

In one shocking incident, beachgoers formed a huge human chain to drag two people to safety in a dramatic rescue at Durdle Door.

And there will be no respite from the stormy weather in the coming days, with the arrival of Storm Francis.

A yellow wind warning, which means to be prepared, has been issued throughout the county from 9am today through to midday tomorrow.

Members of the public have been warned that the storm will cause heavy rain and could bring winds of up to 70mph.

A spokesperson for the Met Office said: “Storm Francis will bring some very strong winds leading to disruption to travel and power supplies along with potential damage to trees.”

Residents are again being warned to stay away from the sea as there could be a danger to life from large waves and beach material being thrown onto sea fronts, coastal roads and properties.

There are likely to be travel delays on roads, railways and ferries due to the storm. Short team loss of power and other services is also possible.