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Reprieve as dry weekend predicted

Flood-hit areas of Britain can expect a reprieve from recent heavy downpours after forecasters predicted a dry weekend for most of the country.

A band of heavy showers brought flash flooding and rising river levels as it moved across the North of England on Thursday.

It followed days of heavy rain across the country which prompted severe weather warnings for parts of southern England and Wales earlier this week.

MeteoGroup, the weather division of the Press Association, said much of Britain would see more settled weather over the weekend with some sunny spells, but it would remain cold for the time of year.

Forecaster Brendan Jones said: "We should see a bit of a break from the heavy rain over the weekend.

"From Manchester southwards, there may be one or two showers but a lot of the day will be mainly dry. Some sunshine will come through which will be welcomed.

"Most of the country will have a fairly good day on Saturday. There may be the odd showers but many places will be dry with some sunshine. Temperatures will range from 12 to 15 degrees, which isn't brilliant for May but better than it has been. By Sunday, most of England and Wales should see some pretty good weather."

Firefighters in North Yorkshire were called to a number of localised incidents on Thursday including the rescue of 350 sheep and lambs caught out by a flooded river in the Yorkshire Dales.

The highest rainfall figure was in Shap, Cumbria, which saw 1.4in (36mm) in 12 hours on Thursday and 2.4in (62mm) in 24 hours.

Mr Jones said the narrow band of exceptionally heavy rain had now moved out to the North Sea and the more general rainy weather was moving towards Scotland.

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