UK weather: weekend of heavy rain and high winds expected


Heavy rain is forecast for large parts of the UK after gusts of 71mph hit the south-west of the country.

The Met Office said persistent downpours could bring flooding and disruption to some areas over the weekend. It has issued weather warnings covering large areas of the country.

The wet weather comes after a low-pressure system named Storm Alex moved in from France and clipped the southern edge of Britain on Friday. The highest gust of 71mph was recorded at Berry Head on the Devon coast.

Amber weather warnings for rain are in place for Wales, the West Midlands, south-west England and parts of eastern Scotland on Saturday.

Between 25 and 50mm of rain is expected to fall in some areas, and as much as 120mm could fall over the most exposed high high ground in Wales and south-west England.

Aberdeenshire and central Tayside and Fife in Scotland are forecast to receive between 40 and 70mm of rain, with more than 120mm possible over high ground on Saturday, the Met Office meteorologist Greg Dewhurst said.

Yellow rain warnings are also in place for the east of England, London and the south-east plus much of Wales, western England and eastern Scotland where heavy rain is set to push in from the north west. The rain is expected to last into Sunday in these areas.

Dewhurst said: “It is going to be raining and horrible all day” on Saturday. “If you have to travel take extra time on your journey, the roads will be pretty treacherous at times with poor visibility due to the heavy rain.”

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Drains could become blocked with debris as trees are still in full leaf and there is a heightened risk of flooding and difficult driving conditions.

The Met Office’s chief meteorologist, Steve Ramsdale, said that now the strong winds and rain associated with Storm Alex had cleared, another low-pressure system had moved toward the UK from the east.

It will bring “further very heavy rain to many over the weekend as well as some strong winds,” he said.

Conditions are expected to improve for many on Sunday though it is likely to remain wet and windy in some areas.

Carol Holt, the Environment Agency’s flood duty manager said “widespread and persistent rain is likely to lead to flooding” in some areas over the weekend.

“We urge people to stay away from swollen rivers and not to drive though floodwater. It is often deeper than it looks and just 30cm of flowing water is enough to float your car.”

Rod Dennis, a spokesman for RAC Breakdown, said road conditions would be “miserable if not downright dangerous” for drivers this weekend. They should for “an ugly mix” of surface spray, gusty winds and more than likely some disruption on the roads, he said.



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