UK weather: Half term downpour and flash flood warning as forecasters predict month’s rain in 48 hours for parts of Britain

Rain to stick around until ‘mid-June’, Met Office says, with no sign of return to recent warm weather

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The Independent Online

It is not what anyone wants to hear at the start of half term, but over the next 48 hours Britain can expect heavy rain, flash floods and extensive travel disruption as a result.

Low-level warnings have been issued by both the Met Office and the Environment Agency (EA), with the worst-hit areas in the east of England forecast to receive downpours of up to 70mm (2.76ins) – significantly above the average rainfall for the whole of May (around 50mm).

And while things are looking a little brighter with sunny spells towards the weekend, there will be no return to the sustained hot temperatures of earlier this month.

Forecasters say the unsettled weather, with long spells of rain interspersed with brief bright periods, looks “more likely than not to persist into mid-June”.

At least 10 EA warnings are in place across south-east England and the Midlands, with the agency predicting “flooding of low-lying land and roads, some disruption to travel and possibly flooding to individual properties”.

Forecaster Gareth Harvey, with the Meteo Group, said: “An area of prolonged rain is moving up over the eastern region and it's not going to shift until Wednesday night.

“The rain is not exclusive to the east region but that's where the persistent and largest rainfall totals of between 50 and 70mms will be.

“Pretty much the whole of Great Britain will see rain at some point over the next 48 hours. This means there could be some localised flooding.”

The Met Office forecast for Thursday and Friday is for the rain to ease, followed by “bright or sunny spells and variable cloud, but also isolated showers”.

At the weekend it will be “largely cloudy, with more persistent rain across western areas likely to push east through Sunday”.

“The weather is likely to stay changeable thereafter with showers or longer spells of rain accompanied by breezy conditions at times, particularly across western areas at first,” the forecast said.

If we can get through all that, there is hope for later in June. The Met Office said: “There are signs beginning to emerge of a change towards more settled conditions, at least for the north of the UK.”