Belfast Telegraph

Flood alert as heavy rain sweeps in to make it a more familiar summer

By Brett Campbell

Northern Ireland is braced for heavy rain and flooding, with a yellow warning in place until late this afternoon.

Up to 30mm is expected to fall within just a few hours as a weather system sweeps in from the Atlantic.

Met Office forecaster Greg Dewhurst said that hardened ground due to the unusually dry summer will significantly increase the risk of localised flooding and will create dangerous driving conditions.

"Bursts of heavy rain in the morning will follow on from overnight showers," he said.

"It will become more persistent throughout the day, with rumbles of thunder likely to occur.

"Between 10 and 30mm will fall inside a period of two or three hours."

The band of rain will also bring cooler temperatures, with the mercury struggling to get above 19 degrees.

"Things will feel much fresher than they have in some time, it's a complete contrast to what we have been experiencing," Mr Dewhurst said.

But by late afternoon the sun should be back out as the grey skies clear away, but not for long.

"There will be sunny spells for most going into the evening, but another low front will move in overnight," the weather expert said.

"It will be another wet start on Sunday, with the heaviest rain in and around Belfast, but it will brighten up again in the afternoon, with temperatures closer to the seasonal norm."

The mixture of sunny spells and showers will continue throughout Monday and Tuesday, with conditions improving as the week goes on.

"By Wednesday things will have settled down with temperatures starting to creep back up to around 22 degrees," Mr Dewhurst said.

NI Water said it welcomed any rain, but did not anticipate that today's washout will have a significant impact on raw water reservoirs.

"May, June and July to date have seen much lower than normal levels of rainfall," the company said.

"The continuation of the warm weather and very low levels of rainfall is putting an increased strain on our sources of raw water.

"Where rain falls on very dry soil it rehydrates the soil first and will only flow into reservoirs once the soil is sufficiently hydrated."

Belfast Telegraph

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