IT has been the wettest winter since records began.

Since before Christmas, Hampshire has been battered by storms, with torrential rain and gale-force winds bringing chaos to the region.

Many saw their festive season ruined by power cuts caused by fallen trees and downed power cables, while scores more have had their lives turned upside-down by floods.

Now, as we enter March – the start of meteorological spring – the Daily Echo looks back at the weeks of misery that hit Hampshire.

It all began in December, when a storm on Christmas Eve caused drains and sewers to overflow and power was lost in thousands of homes.

Things didn’t get any better as the new year rolled in, with an eight-mile stretch of the A36 closed between Totton and Salisbury on New Year’s Day and much of Southampton’s Riverside Park and Weston Shore flooded.

Parts of Milford on Sea resembled a war zone after stormy weather raged around a restaurant on Valentine’s Day, trapping 30 diners inside, smashing windows, wrecking cars, destroying beach huts and leaving debris strewn around the shore.

Residents in flats in Golden Grove, Southampton, were taken by shocked when the roof was blown off in high winds, plummeting on to cars parked below.

Romsey and Winchester were two of the worst-affected with daily life totally disrupted as businesses and schools were forced to close.

Communities around the county have rallied together to protect homes and help arrived in February courtesy of the Army and Navy, who implemented innovative solutions such as temporary dams in both the Itchen and the River Test to divert water around Winchester and Romsey respectively.

Have we made it through the worst of the weather now?

According to the Met Office, weather patterns are returning to normal for this time of year.

A spokesman said: “What we experienced this winter was beyond a doubt exceptional. What we have seen since the middle of February was a slow return to normal.

“It's not unusual to have blustery days and showers in spring. What is different is we are having dry spells again.”

However the forecasters have warned that high winds and high spring tides could combine to cause coastal flooding tomorrow(SUN) night.

Peak tides are likely overnight between Sunday and Monday at 1am and the Environment Agency is warning people to stay away from the coast.