Forecasters: Flood risk in south west and northern England, Wales and southern Scotland

Met Office issues yellow severe weather warning

Weather forecasters have warned of possible floods caused by a band of heavy rain affecting large parts of the country.

The Met Office issued a yellow severe weather warning, advising those in south west and northern England, Wales and southern Scotland to be aware of the risk of flooding.

Up to 60mm (2.3ins) of rain are possible in the south west of England, with warnings that West Yorkshire could also be hit.

The bad weather could come as a blessing to England's cricket team as it fights to retain the Ashes against Australia at Old Trafford, Manchester.

With the tourists going into the final day of the third Test with a 331-run lead, a draw forced by bad weather would see England avoid defeat in the series, thus retaining the urn.

Helen Rossington, a forecaster with MeteoGroup, the weather division of the Press Association, said: “We have got low pressure moving across England today and a front associated with that is bringing rain to the south east of Scotland, northern England, Wales and the northern Midlands, moving eastwards during the day.

“Southern England could see thunderstorms moving in from south Wales this afternoon, but it looks much quieter over the next couple of days with a return to sunny spells and scattered showers.”

Ms Rossington said the highest totals for rainfall registered so far today were in Culdrose, Cornwall, where 11.2mm of rain fell in just one hour between 8-9am.

A Met Office spokesman said that floods were a greater risk after periods of dry weather, with hardened ground not allowing water to be absorbed.

Yellow warnings are the least serious severe weather alerts issued by the Met Office, ahead of orange warnings to be prepared and red warnings to take action.