More than 100 flood warnings are in place across England after heavy overnight rainfall, as the total number of homes evacuated in the week’s deluge rose to more than 1,200.
The wet weather also caused severe travel disruption on Friday morning, with many rail services in Yorkshire being delayed or cancelled.
“Here we go again,” Met Office forecaster Steven Keates said on Thursday night. “The same as what we had a week ago, persistent rain across that central part of the UK, falling on already saturated ground.”
But by Friday morning, meteorologists appeared more optimistic, saying that while there would likely be some rainfall in the affected areas, it was “nothing to be concerned about”.
While the worst-affected areas are forecast to see a vital respite from the heavy rains, communities across the UK should brace for sub-zero temperatures.
Cities as geographically widespread as Leeds and London are forecast to see temperatures of 1C on Monday and Tuesday, but Met Office warned that the surrounding rural areas could well be colder.
In Glasgow, the mercury is set to drop to -2C on Monday evening, while a weather warning for ice in Northern Ireland was in place until 10am on Friday morning. Snow has already hit some particularly elevated areas and England’s southwest.
“In a nutshell, not fantastic, bright blue skies for the weekend, but in terms of rainfall it will be a much better picture,” said Met Office meteorologist Oli Claydon.
“There will be a few showers knocking around, but nothing in terms of accumulations of rainfall like we’ve seen over the last week.”
But milder weather could return on Wednesday as a fresh front of rain and cloud cover arrives from across the Atlantic Ocean.
Communities in Doncaster are still feeling the effects of this month’s deluge, with the Environment Agency explaining how machines have been pumping 2.5 tonnes of water per second out of the village of Fishlake.
The army has been called in, working around the clock since Wednesday to lay down sandbags and firm up flood defences in the area, and in neighbouring Stainforth.
However, Defra said significant flooding impacts are expected to be felt around the Lower River Don until Monday. Considerable flooding is also possible in Nottingham and Lincolnshire, Defra said.
The leaders of councils in Doncaster, Rotherham, Sheffield, Barnsley, Bassetlaw and Kirklees have written to the former communities secretary Robert Jenrick warning of “considerable and lasting damage” and urging more funding to help them cope with future flooding.
In Yorkshire alone, at least 620 homes had been damaged in the floods, an Environment Agency spokesperson said.
The agency also warned that people had been trying to steal some of the pumps being used to help flooded homes in South Yorkshire.
Spokesperson Martin Christmas said: “A plea to anyone out there in the area who sees anyone suspicious, please get in touch with police.
“We don’t want this to hamper our recovery effort in the Doncaster area.”
Additional reporting by PA
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