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Heavy rainfall brings soggy end to school summer holidays

Published 24/08/2015

A couple hold umbrellas as they walk past an open but deserted beach and kiosk on the promenade at Weston-super-Mare, Somerset
A couple hold umbrellas as they walk past an open but deserted beach and kiosk on the promenade at Weston-super-Mare, Somerset
More heavy rain is forecast as heavy thundery downpours sweep across the country
The crowd at V Festival in Essex braving the rain

Heavy rain and thundery downpours are sweeping across the country, bringing a soggy end to the school summer holidays.

Parts of the UK saw more than a fortnight's rainfall in 24 hours, and t he south and east of England are set to be lashed with "intense, slow-moving thundery downpours", with a risk of strong winds, flooding, and disruption to travel.

A yellow weather warning for rain remains in place across the south of England, and some parts may see 40-60mm fall in just a few hours as the rain sets in.

Katesbridge in Co Down, Northern Ireland, was the wettest part of the country overnight, with 56.6mm falling in the 24 hours to 8am - compared to its monthly average of 97mm, according to the Met Office.

There was also heavy rain in Exeter (33.2mm), Bournemouth (26.4mm) and Gogerddan in south west Wales (25.8mm). Bramham, in West Yorkshire also had a wet weekend, with 72.4mm of rain falling over 48 hours.

Following a flurry of bets this morning, bookmakers Coral said it had slashed the odds on August being the wettest on record, from 2-1 to evens.

Coral's John Hill said the betting suggests "we may have seen the best of the summer weather this year".

But Met Office's Laura Young dismissed the claim, saying unsettled weather was "not unusual" for the time of the year. She said it was "unlikely" to be damper than August 1912, when a record-breaking rainfall of 167.6mm fell across the UK.

She said: "August is one of the wettest and most volatile months of the summer period. You are actually more likely to see dry weather in June and July than you are in August."

Met Office data up to the middle of August shows an average of 39.33mm has fallen - about 44% of the monthly average, Ms Young said.

She added: "We can never be 100% sure. I'm relatively confident that it is unlikely that it will be the wettest August on record at this point in time."

The Environment Agency, which earlier had 10 flood alerts in place, said they had received no reports of flooding. Three low-level alerts remain in place in Cornwall for surface flooding on roads.

More rain is forecast for southern Britain on Tuesday and Wednesday, but the weather looks likely to improve into the bank holiday weekend, the Met Office said.

Flooding in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, led to shops being closed and delays to train services.

Kent Fire and Rescue Service said it had received nearly 60 calls related to the flooding but urged members of the public to only phone 999 in the case of an emergency.

It is working alongside Tunbridge Wells Borough Council, which said it has staff in the town hall and additional resources on-hand.

A spokeswoman for Southeastern trains said services were stopped from 6pm but resumed shortly afterwards with a slower than normal service.

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