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.
- 1 Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin file for divorce after 10 years of marriage
- 2 Rarest Beanie Baby bought for just £10 at car boot sale could be sold for £62,500 on eBay
- 3 Katie Hopkins and The Sun editor David Dinsmore reported to police for incitement to racial hatred following migrant boat column
- 4 Australian student Tommy Connolly, 23, adopts his pregnant, homeless 17-year-old cousin to give her a chance at 'a better life'
- 5 Google search history can now be downloaded in its entirety, mass embarrassment expected
Rarest Beanie Baby bought for just £10 at car boot sale could be sold for £62,500 on eBay
Katie Hopkins and The Sun editor David Dinsmore reported to police for incitement to racial hatred following migrant boat column
'Jihadi John': Isis executioner Mohammed Emwazi wanted to wage jihad in Somalia until his friends were betrayed and killed by al-Shabaab
Parma, Missouri: 80 per cent of town's police quit after first black mayor is elected
Australian student Tommy Connolly, 23, adopts his pregnant, homeless 17-year-old cousin to give her a chance at 'a better life'
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
Ukip is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto
Food banks: One million Britons will soon be using them, according to Trussell Trust
Katie Hopkins on LBC: Listen to caller taking The Sun columnist to task over migrant comments
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling
£30000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The company was established in ...
£18000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...
£28000 - £32000 per annum + Excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Systems Analyst...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is a fabulous opportunity for an experien...