Britain is enduring a washout today as more than a month’s worth of ‘intense’ rain in just several hours and gales blight the start of summer.
Forecasters at the
The amber warning said thundery showers are expected to develop over parts of South East England this afternoon and into the evening, with up to 2.4in (60mm) of rain falling in the space of four to six hours.
There are five separate severe
Commuters walk across London Bridge in torrential rain today after the Met Office issued a series of weather warnings
People cross over London Bridge with a view of Tower Bridge in the background as London is hit by wet weather today
A spectator sits under an umbrella as rain stops play at the South Africa v West Indies cricket match in Southampton today
Albert Mitchell (left), two, splashes around during the heavy rain in Cambridge today, while a cyclist braves the rain (right)
A man walks over the reflections of the advertising hoardings at Piccadilly Circus on a wet morning in London today
Spectators take shelter as rain stops play in the South Africa v West Indies match at The Ageas Bowl in Southampton today
A lorry passes through a large puddle on the M20 at Ashford in Kent today as heavy rain sweeps across the South East
Visitors to Cambridge are well prepared with umbrellas as they take cover from the rain this morning
A young woman comes off her bicycle in Cambridge today after heavy downpours overnight and into this morning
By tomorrow, thundery showers will move northwards to cover large swathes of the East Midlands and beyond to Sheffield, Leeds, York and Newcastle, until they die off mid-Thursday.
Areas of higher ground will get about 2.5in (64mm) of rain in only 12 hours, with 40mph winds battering the East coast. The average rainfall for the whole of June in eastern England is just over two inches.
Steve Ramsdale, duty chief meteorologist for the Met Office, said: ‘The development of weather conditions leading to thunderstorms and intense rainfall can happen extremely quickly, creating a challenge for forecasters.
‘We have been able to indicate the likelihood of further spells of heavy rainfall for the rest of the week, but the exact details will remain uncertain until nearer the events. We will update warnings accordingly.’
The rain swept in overnight, with the heaviest in the South East where 0.6in (15mm) fell in 12 hours in Sellindge in Kent, but heavier and more persistent rain is likely to hit southern and eastern England this afternoon.
The Met Office has issued several severe weather warnings for rain in eastern areas running from today until Thursday
Britain faces a washout today when a month’s worth of rain could fall in just one day today, as shown in the graphics above
These Met Office graphics show how the UV index and pollen count will be moderate to low for most parts of Britain today
Met Office forecaster Steven Keates said the northern Home Counties, East Midlands, Lincolnshire and Humber could see some of the heaviest and most persistent rain.
Why is the weather so bad in England this week?
Heat across parts of central Europe and a low pressure system approaching the UK from the south are both behind the heavy rain and thunderstorms in England.
The low pressure system is drawing in warmer air from the continent as it moves closer to Britain this week.
The combination of warmer, moist air and low pressure provides ideal conditions for the intense rain and thunderstorms to develop quickly.
He added: ‘The rain started to push in overnight as expected but nothing particularly heavy so far. The heaviest and most persistent rain is still to come.
‘Probably later this afternoon into this evening and tonight we could see some of the heaviest rain. It is going to be more the persistence of the rain in some places and the intensity for others.
‘Eastern and southern England in particular are likely to be seeing long and persistent bad weather. Some places could see a month’s worth of rain in two or three days, and we could see some flooding issues.’
The rainfall and thunderstorms are being triggered by a combination of heat across parts of central Europe and a low-pressure system approaching the UK from the south, drawing in warmer air from the continent.
Even areas not covered by the weather warnings will experience significant showers. Forecasters are warning drivers to expect spray flooding and closures on the roads this week.
A woman walks under an umbrella in the rain in Cambridge this morning as much of eastern England faces weather warnings
Morning commuters shelter from the rain under their umbrellas as they walk across Westminster Bridge in London today
Showers are falling on London today, which could result in flooding and travel delays for some commuters in the capital
Rare noctilucent clouds appear over St Mary’s Lighthouse in Whitley Bay on the North East coast overnight
Social media users reacted this morning as they woke to find heavy rain blighting much of the South and East of England
There is a small chance of more remote, rural communities being totally cut off by floods, while homes and businesses in eastern areas could suffer flooding and residents should have contingency plans in place.
The Environment Agency has one flood alert on the River Ravensbourne in London covering the boroughs of Lewisham, Bromley, Greenwich and Croydon.
It said there was a risk of flooding for low-lying land, gardens and roads that are close to the river between 7am and 6pm. The EA added: ‘We are actively monitoring the situation and are prepared to respond if required.
‘Please avoid using low-lying footpaths near local watercourses and plan driving routes to avoid low-lying roads near rivers, which may be flooded.’