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It's a summer washout

After the wettest June since 1958, prepare for more wind and rain this month

By Lesley-Anne Henry and Bill Smith

A multi-agency response was called for today after fresh flooding in Cushendall.

At least 10 homes were flooded when the River Dall burst its banks during heavy rain last night.

A woman and her pregnant daughter had to be rescued from their home by firefighters when the floodwater reached 4ft.

As the water receded and clearing up got under way, local Moyle councillor Oliver McMullan demanded action to prevent it happening again.

"We have not learned the lessons from the 1990s when there was bad flooding.

"What we need is a multi-agency approach - some of these houses have been flooded several times.

Meanwhile, hopes of a sizzling summer are melting away with forecasters warning that more wet and windy weather was on its way for July.

A host of depressions or low pressure systems are currently developing over the UK and this means hot weather will not be enjoyed again for some time.

The depressing news follows the revelation that June was one of the wettest months since records began.

A spokesman for the forecast company Meteogroup said the unsettled conditions had developed because a high pressure jet stream system known as Azores High has not extended as far north as normal.

Azores High, which brings sunshine spells lasting up to two weeks, usually builds up over the Atlantic and its anticyclonic sinking air is pushed out north and east through Spain and France to reach the UK.

But this year it hasn't gone far enough and the low pressure cyclones which usually form much of Scandinavia's summer are staying over the UK, resulting in wind and rain.

This means that local sun-worshippers hoping to top up on their tans are set to be frustrated.

Meanwhile Armagh Observatory said June was one of the wettest months since they began recording weather back in 1838. Only 1845, 1852, 1897 and 1958 had more rain.

"Yes it was certainly much wetter, although slightly warmer than average, " according to Observatory spokesman John McFarland. " Overall we recorded five-and-one-quarter inches of rain over the 30 days which is a lot more than the average of two-and-a-half. The month started reasonably with an inch in the first 10 days, but the latter part was very wet indeed."

And there was also less sunshine with just over 125 hours, a quarter less than average.

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