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: Project Assistant

£17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are a leading company in the field ...

Recruitment Genius: DBA Developer - SQL Server

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Office Manager

£26041 - £34876 per annum: Recruitment Genius: There has never been a more exc...

Recruitment Genius: Travel Customer Service and Experience Manager

£14000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The fastest growing travel comp...

Day In a Page

Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza

Andrew Grice: Inside Westminster

Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza
HMS Victory: The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

Exclusive: David Keys reveals the research that finally explains why HMS Victory went down with the loss of 1,100 lives
Survivors of the Nagasaki atomic bomb attack: Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism

'I saw people so injured you couldn't tell if they were dead or alive'

Nagasaki survivors on why Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism
Jon Stewart: The voice of Democrats who felt Obama had failed to deliver on his 'Yes We Can' slogan, and the voter he tried hardest to keep onside

The voter Obama tried hardest to keep onside

Outgoing The Daily Show host, Jon Stewart, became the voice of Democrats who felt the President had failed to deliver on his ‘Yes We Can’ slogan. Tim Walker charts the ups and downs of their 10-year relationship on screen
RuPaul interview: The drag star on being inspired by Bowie, never fitting in, and saying the first thing that comes into your head

RuPaul interview

The drag star on being inspired by Bowie, never fitting in, and saying the first thing that comes into your head
Secrets of comedy couples: What's it like when both you and your partner are stand-ups?

Secrets of comedy couples

What's it like when both you and your partner are stand-ups?
Satya Nadella: As Windows 10 is launched can he return Microsoft to its former glory?

Satya Nadella: The man to clean up for Windows?

While Microsoft's founders spend their billions, the once-invincible tech company's new boss is trying to save it
The best swimwear for men: From trunks to shorts, make a splash this summer

The best swimwear for men

From trunks to shorts, make a splash this summer
Mark Hix recipes: Our chef tries his hand at a spot of summer foraging

Mark Hix goes summer foraging

 A dinner party doesn't have to mean a trip to the supermarket
Ashes 2015: With an audacious flourish, home hero Ian Bell ends all debate

With an audacious flourish, the home hero ends all debate

Ian Bell advances to Trent Bridge next week almost as undroppable as Alastair Cook and Joe Root, a cornerstone of England's new thinking, says Kevin Garside
Aaron Ramsey interview: Wales midfielder determined to be centre of attention for Arsenal this season

Aaron Ramsey interview

Wales midfielder determined to be centre of attention for Arsenal this season
Community Shield: Arsene Wenger needs to strike first blow in rivalry with Jose Mourinho

Community Shield gives Wenger chance to strike first blow in rivalry with Mourinho

As long as the Arsenal manager's run of games without a win over his Chelsea counterpart continues it will continue to dominate the narrative around the two men
The unlikely rise of AFC Bournemouth - and what it says about English life

Unlikely rise of AFC Bournemouth

Bournemouth’s elevation to football’s top tier is one of the most improbable of recent times. But it’s illustrative of deeper and wider changes in English life
A Very British Coup, part two: New novel in pipeline as Jeremy Corbyn's rise inspires sequel

A Very British Coup, part two

New novel in pipeline as Jeremy Corbyn's rise inspires sequel
Philae lander data show comets could have brought 'building blocks of life' to Earth

Philae lander data show comets could have brought 'building blocks of life' to Earth

Icy dust layer holds organic compounds similar to those found in living organisms