Warnings of flash floods as Britain set for a 'real soaking'

 

Parts of Britain might be in the middle of a drought, but some areas of England and Wales are braced for the possibility of flash floods this weekend as the deluge continues at the end of a week of heavy rain.

Warnings of localised flooding have been issued in parts of the South West, South East and Midlands, as well as East of England and Wales for Sunday as the wet weather moves across the country.

The flood warnings follow the wettest week in Wales and England since December.

Forecasters have given another rain-soaked forecast for next week with little sign of the weather improving.

In a stark contrast to the hosepipe ban and drought warnings, many areas of England and Wales have seen heavy rain and thundery conditions during this week.

An unusually wet April week saw 42mm (1.7in) of rain fall in the South East and 55mm (2.2in) in the South West, which has now had 166% of the average rainfall for April.

Many of the areas at risk of flooding are actually currently considered to be in a state of drought following two unusually dry winters in a row.

The heavy rain, however, has made little difference in terms of the drought as groundwater levels have remained low.

The danger of flash flooding is related directly to the drought as soil, compacted and hardened by consistently dry weather, will not allow water to permeate it – the heavy rain therefore simply runs off the ground.

The Environment Agency said exceptionally low levels were still being recorded at almost half the groundwater sites they monitor.

Polly Chancellor, national drought co-ordinator for the Environment Agency, said: "We've had a lot of rain this past week, which is a welcome boost for farmers and gardeners, and has delayed the need for water companies to apply for further drought permits.

"But with the dry soils, most of this rain is either soaked up or, worse still, runs off quickly, causing flooding, as we have seen in some areas this week."

MeteoGroup forecasters at the Press Association have predicted there will be drizzle and light rain tomorrow, although the outlook is brighter in Northern England, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

A band of rain is set to push across the country on Sunday at which point Wales and England will get a 'real soaking'. Winds of up to 60mph are also predicted for some coastal areas.

Another band of rain could hit the country on Tuesday.

Up to 40mm of rain could fall in southern England, before it moves North with Scotland and Northern Ireland getting the worst of the rain on Sunday night.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Administrative Assistant / Order Fulfilment

£14000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity to join a thrivi...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped OTE: SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consulta...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped OTE: SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consulta...

Recruitment Genius: Production Operative

£13000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Due to a period of sustained an...

Day In a Page

Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent