Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 25 October 2014

Respite in sight as heavy rain ends

Festival-goers braved the rain at the Hard Rock Calling music festival in Hyde Park, London

Rain-lashed Britain looks set to get a reprieve this week as torrential downpours that caused flood misery across the country come to an end.

The wettest April to June on record, followed by more heavy rain so far this month, caused widespread - and in some cases, repeated - flooding.

Typically, this week will still be wet with showers across the country, forecasters said, and heavy, thundery rainstorms in the middle of the week. But the relentless rain that resulted in record-breaking weather conditions has vanished for now.

The improving conditions have meant the Environment Agency (EA) now has a vastly reduced number of flood warnings and alerts.

They remain in place as drainage systems and river catchments struggle to come to terms with the record-breaking deluges that have left vast parts of the country saturated. In the last 24 hours the EA has removed a total of 31 warnings and alerts across England.

Seven flood warnings remained on Sunday evening - four in the Midlands, two in the Anglian region and one in the South West - and 37 flood alerts were in place.

Nick Prebble, a forecaster with Meteogroup, the Press Association's weather division, said much of the UK would see rain tomorrow and Tuesday but it would not be as heavy as recent weeks.

On Wednesday, northern England and southern Scotland could be hit by heavy, thundery showers with 30-40mm in some places. Mr Prebble said: "Things look like they are calming down on Friday into Saturday but further heavy rain is coming in from the Atlantic on Sunday."

Sunday is St Swithin's Day and legend has it that if it rains it will continue to fall for 40 consecutive days.

Coral bookmakers has offered odds of 2/1 of rain falling in the Olympic Stadium during the men's 100m final and 25/1 on adverse weather forcing the cancellation of a full day's athletics. Ladbrokes is offering odds of 6/4 that rain falls at the Olympic Games opening ceremony on July 27.

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