Heavy rains halt barbecue summer

Heavy rains halt barbecue summer

Forecasters have warned of a weekend deluge

People shelter from the rain as very heavy shower passes over Tidworth, Wiltshire

People shelter from the rain as a very heavy shower passes over Birmingham

First published in National News © by

The UK's barbecue summer came to an abrupt halt today as heavy rain battered much of the nation.

With severe weather warnings and flood alerts in place, there were more brollies than ice lollies in many areas.

The most rainfall recorded so far is in Ballypatrick Forest, Co Antrim, where 40.8mm fell in six hours, a forecaster at the Met Office revealed.

Kirk Waite said there has been heavy hourly rates in other places too, including 18mm in one hour in Oxfordshire.

"We have seen some quite unsettled weather move across the country and there's been a few thundery downpours in amongst it as well. And we're still expecting some further rain overnight tonight," he said.

Today, the Met Office had yellow warnings - meaning "be aware" - in place for Northern Ireland, Wales, much of Scotland, north west England, north east England and Yorkshire and Humber.

The Environment Agency had three flood alerts in place in the south east.

Tomorrow, the Met Office still has yellow warnings in place for much of Scotland and north east England.

Forecaster Mr Waite said Scotland can expect another 20mm of rain to fall in quite a short period tomorrow as heavy thundery downpours are set to soak the country.

"It is going to gradually ease away northwards through the day," he said.

Mr Waite said this amount of rainfall is not unusual for August, because while the month can bring warm weather, the combination of high temperatures and moisture from the ocean creates the potential risk of thundery downpours.

"It's not that unusual to see some heavy - even torrential - downpours in August," he said.

The forecaster said next week is also going to be "a little bit unsettled", but not as bad as today.

Many places will have a mixture of bright sunny spells and a scattering of showers.

"We're not expecting anything particularly exceptional temperature-wise," he said.

However, during the sunny periods it will feel "pleasant" and the warmest temperatures will be in the south east.

This will increase the risk of heavy, potentially thundery, showers, he said.

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