UK weather forecasts more than a MONTH’S worth of rain wrecking school …
- Met Office issues ‘be aware’ severe weather warning for rain and wind in the South East from 12pm today
- Low pressure system that developed over the Atlantic Ocean will pass across much of southern England
- 0.8in of rain expected widely with up to 2.4in possible as well as 50mph gusts on coasts and 40mph inland
Published: 14:43 GMT, 23 July 2015 | Updated: 18:59 GMT, 24 July 2015
Britons have been warned there is plenty more bad weather to come this weekend as the country was hit by freak gales and storms today.
Forecasters believe parts of the South East could see more than a month s worth of rain today, with 50mph gusts predicted in coastal areas.
Early rain and brisk winds in the region will clear tomorrow to leave sunny spells, but there is a risk of sharp showers in the North and East.
Then after a fine start in those areas on Sunday, rain already across the South West will spread across most parts, and some of it could be heavy.
And while the weather threatens to disrupt summer Discount Holidays © holiday getaway plans, even those heading abroad for sunnier climes won t escape travel chaos.
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What summer? A father and his sons battle the elements on the seafront at Teignmouth in Devon during torrential rain this morning
Muddy: These women were not put off by the rain as they arrived at the World of Music, Arts and Dance (Womad) festival in Wiltshire
Police were forced to close Standstead Road in Bishop’s Stortford, Hertfordshire, after these two vehicles became stranded in the floodwater
Rain on the roads: Difficult driving conditions on the M27 near Southampton this morning, as the RAC warned of ‘road misery’ today
They don’t care: A group of friends on a day trip to Bournemouth brave the cold and rain and go for a dip in the sea today
The water was up to the door of this Mini, as the driver tentatively made their way through flood water in Leystone, East London
In France, motorists have been warned to expect delays caused by striking farmers blocking major roads to the Alps.
And in Spain, a strike by air traffic controllers could cause delays to flights on the busiest weekend of the year.
As for Britain, the Met Office has issued a severe weather warning for the South East of England today.
Gusts of up to 50mph on the coast and 40mph inland are expected, and as much as 2.36in (60mm) of rain.
The average for July in the South East is 2.05in (52mm) – meaning parts of Britain could have five weeks’ worth of rain today
London Fire Brigade said they had dealt with 22 flooding related incidents since 4pm today.
In Bishop’s Stortford, Hertfordshire, police were tonight forced to close a route due to severe flooding, after two vehicles became stranded in the water.
This morning, a Thames Valley Police traffic officer accused some drivers of tearing along like lunatics as parts of the M4 were badly affected by rain.
Three-day forecast: Rain is expected today, but things could be better tomorrow with sunshine and showers – rather than heavy rain
A father and his sons battle the elements on the seafront at Teignmouth in Devon during torrential rain this morning” />
Despite the warnings of bad weather, the downpours appeared to catch many people out in central London today. Pictured: Three women on Vauxhall Bridge
The battle to stay dry: This man’s umbrella was blown inside out as he battled the elements on Vauxhall Bridge, left.
The woman, right, appeared to have fashioned a plastic sheet into a poncho
Sightseeing: Tourists wear ponchos to shelter from the rain on Westminster Bridge backdropped by the Houses of Parliament
Out and about: A woman shelters under her umbrella while a boy is kitted out for the bad weather as rain falls in Bournemouth, Dorset
Moving along: A woman shelters under an umbrella as she looks at her phone and walks near the Houses of Parliament in Westminster
Making a splash: A cyclist improvises as she approaches floodwater in Perranwell, Cornwall, after heavy rain affected parts of the county
British spirit: Two women brave the wet weather today with a large umbrella on Fistral beach in Newquay, Cornwall
Miserable day: A couple head for cover inside the pier at Teignmouth in Devon during heavy rain at the seaside town today
Wet and windy: A morning walker struggles against the strong gusts and heavy rain on the seafront at Paignton in Devon today
Coats on: Adults and children brave the downpour to go shopping in the town centre of Luton in Bedfordshire today
And at least six crashes were reported in the space of just 30 minutes in Devon and Cornwall this morning.
The traffic officer, who did not wish to be named, said: The rain is sending up blinding sheets of spray which is cutting visibility.
And because the roads have been so dry, there’s a film of dust which has turned mushy with the rain – and it’s very slippery.
Meanwhile queues were building up this morning at approaches to the major airports around London including Heathrow and Gatwick.
The Environment Agency also issued a warning about the risks of flooding, particularly in parts of Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex and Kent.
‘Heavy rainfall on Friday night into Saturday brings a risk of surface water flooding for parts of south and east England,’ said John Curtin, flood risk manager at the Environment Agency.
‘If you re driving away for the summer holidays, as always, please remember not to drive through flood water. People are urged to check their flood risk on our website, especially if you re holidaying in an area where you re not familiar with the flood risk.’
The gales and heavy rain are expected to continue into Saturday and Sunday does not look much better either.
MeteoGroup weather forecaster Billy Payne said it was unusual to see such significant rainfall in 24 hours.
Wet weather: Traffic on the M25 was back to Swanley at junction three anti-clockwise for the Dartford Tunnel in Kent this afternoon
Westminster Bridge: Tourists and workers get caught in the rain and wind in central London near the Houses of Parliament
Capital rains: Two women shelter under an umbrella as they walk near Tower Bridge during a shower in central London
Rainy start: Commuters make their way through a heavy downpour at Filton Abbey Wood train station near Bristol this morning
Taking cover: A walker on Weymouth beach in Dorset shelters under an umbrella as he walks past a row of kayaks this morning
Juxtaposition: A man looks at the London Riviera food and drink stall on More London Riverside during a rain shower today
Wet conditions: Nobody was splashing about in these fountains in the centre of Luton today as the town was hit by heavy rain
Ponchos at the ready: Festivalgoers at the World of Music, Arts and Dance festival at Charlton Park in Malmesbury, Wiltshire
Muddy hell: Revellers brave the mud as they prepare for performances from the likes of Laura Marling, The Staves and Bombay Bicycle Club at Somerset festival, Devon.
Tricky for drivers: Cars on the M4 motorway in the rain near Chippenham, Wiltshire, as parts of Britain are battered by heavy downpours
He added: We are looking at some very heavy rain across much of southern Britain today and into tonight.
It’s already arriving into Wales and the South West this morning. Across much of southern Britain we could see well over 20-30mm.
Across the likes of East Anglia, south-east England, even London, there could be perhaps 50-60mm, maybe even more.
It’s quite intense.
Mr Payne said the worst of it, particularly in London, will be overnight, although the capital will be hit with some heavy rain during the day too.
The forecaster said temperatures today will not get much higher than 17C (63F) or 18C (64F).
After a fine start in the North and East, rain is expected to spread across the country, some of it heavy, making travelling on packed roads even trickier.
Farmers’ milk protest: Bringing traffic to a standstill for miles, a convoy of tractors block the A50 near Sudbury, Derbyshire
Young and old: Children and adults arrive for the World of Music Arts and Dance festival today in Malmesbury
Reflections: A group of people walk through a puddle in an underpass in Westminster as the South East faces bad weather
Spray: Motorists driving in the rain on the M11 near north-east London as the school summer holidays getaway begins
Summer Discount Holidays © holiday rain: A man takes shelter today under an umbrella at Filton Abbey Wood train station, five miles north-west of Bristol
Flash flooding: Heavy rain overnight affected parts of Cornwall this morning, with cars struggling to make it through Perranwell
Morning commute: Workers walk during a shower in central London as parts of Britain are set to be battered by heavy rain and high winds
Beach huts: A man walker struggles to hold his umbrella against the strong gusts and rain in Paignton on the Devon coast
Nothing will stop him: A surfer braves the wet and windy weather on Fistral beach in Newquay, Cornwall
The RAC estimates millions will hit the road over the weekend as the school summer holidays get into full swing.
PASSENGERS LEFT STRANDED BY EASYJET AS MILLIONS DEPART
Budget airline easyJet is under fire for overbooking thousands of peak-season Discount Holidays © holiday flights leaving passengers stranded at the airport.
The practice is not illegal and used by many airlines so they don t lose money when passengers don t turn up.
However, critics accuse airlines of selling seats that don t exist, then cashing in by failing to follow strict EU laws that require passengers to be compensated if they cannot fly.
European legislation insists that that any passenger denied boarding against their will must be paid immediate compensation stipulated in euros – ranging from ‘ 250 ( 177) for short flights to ‘ 600 ( 424) for long-haul trips.
Pete Williams of the RAC said: We re expecting traffic to peak on Saturday, with some 2.3million holidaymakers on the road.
‘But Friday is also likely to see jams as two million of us take to the wheel.
Heathrow is predicting its busiest day of the year today, with 129,647 passengers passing through its terminals, while Manchester Airport expects to see 342,000 this weekend.
Channel Tunnel rail operator Eurostar estimates 71,000 holidaymakers will travel to Paris and the South of France across the weekend, as thousands more use Eurotunnel and ferry services.
The extra traffic is likely to compound problems in Dover and Calais, where large numbers of migrants looking to reach the UK have caused weeks of disruption.
Motorists heading to France have also been warned they face queues on major routes because of farmers protesting at meat prices.
The action by air traffic controllers in Spain is due to take place tomorrow and Sunday.
The Association of British Travel Agents said holidaymakers may encounter some delays and should follow updates offered by their airline or Discount Holidays © holiday company .
The Met Office has warned that the severe weather could cause disruption to travel given the large volume of traffic on Friday afternoon .
Its spokesman Nicola Maxey told MailOnline: What we re saying is people should consider the weather before making plans.
Maybe you need to make sure you pack a waterproof and perhaps be a bit sensible about walking on a cliff top.
It could have an impact on driving – you might find that there s a bit of surface water around. Just be aware that those conditions might occur.
Weather warnings in place with wind and rain expected across UK
In the forties: A European wind gust chart for this morning when wind speeds peak over the south-eastern areas of Britain
Wet wet wet: A rain total chart for the 24 hours from 6am today to 6am tomorrow, with the wetter areas in orange and red
It also means a potentially wet start for the Sainsbury’s Anniversary Games at the Olympic Stadium in Stratford, east London, which begin today.
This morning, rain already affecting the South West and south Wales was due to spread further north and eastwards.
Looking ahead, Ms Maxey explained that the forecast was looking mixed for the weekend, adding: Saturday s looking like quite a nice day for many.
Once those showers move through, we re looking at a fine day certainly for the West and South West with some patchy cloud or sunshine.
It will be a little bit cooler maybe. But on Sunday we re going to see another low moving through on Sunday, bringing rain to the East.
That low pressure moves north east across the country and brings rain for more northern areas as we go into Monday.
Wind and rain: The Met Office has issued a yellow ‘be aware’ severe weather alert for the South East from 12pm today to 9am tomorrow
It shows an upper warm front (in red) along the south coast, as well as an occluded front (in pink) over northern Scotland, bringing cloud and precipitation” />
Surface pressure: The situation forecast when the Met Office weather warning comes into force at lunchtime today. It shows an upper warm front (in red) along the south coast, as well as an occluded front (in pink) over northern Scotland, bringing cloud and precipitation
Wind speeds: This was the situation over the UK yesterday, ahead of 50mph gusts expected in coastal parts of the South East today
Yesterday’s top UK temperature was 23.1C (73.6F) in Shoeburyness, Essex, while the most rainfall was 22.2mm (0.9in) in Cassley, northern Scotland.
The lowest temperature was 4.3C (39.7F) in Santon Downham, Suffolk, while the sunniest place was Charterhall in Berwickshire with 11.5 hours.
MailOnline s official betting partner Coral is offering 8/1 that this month will be the wettest July on record, and 5/2 that 2015 will be the wettest year.
It is evens for the year to be the hottest on record, and 7/4 that the UK mainland temperature will exceed 100F (37.8C) this year, a spokesman said.
She added: Although the sunny weather has been washed away, we still believe that this summer is on course to be the hottest in British history.
SCOTLAND’S SUMMER WASHOUT CONTINUES AS JULY RECORDS 25% MORE RAINFALL THAN NORMAL
Scotland’s summer washout looks set to continue at least until the end of the month.
July has been considerably wetter than normal, with nearly 25 per cent more rainfall, figures show.
Weather-weary Scots can usually expect to see around 48 per cent of July s rain fall during the first two weeks.
But the Met Office confirmed yesterday that the total for this month already stands at 72 per cent.
Sweeping: Ground staff work to clear the flooded course at St Andrews during a very wet Open golf championship on Friday last week
This statistic does not include the horrendous flash flooding experienced last weekend across many areas of the country which brought widespread chaos and disruption.
The British Open at St Andrews was suspended due to torrential downpours which eventually forced tournament organiser the R&A to extend play into a fifth day.
Water levels: A policeman makes his way through flash flooded streets of Alyth, Perthshire, last week after heavy overnight rain
Scores of music fans attending the Tiree Music Festival had to seek shelter in churches, barns and even homes on the island after dozens of tents were blown away during a gale-force storm.
Now forecasters are warning that there is unlikely to be any marked improvement over the coming days.
While most are predicting it is unlikely Scotland will break the record for the wettest-ever July, which was established in 1940 when 7.3ins (185.6mm) of rain fell, it could be a close run thing.
So far soggy Scotland has suffered 2.8ins (71.9mm) of rainfall although, crucially, this figure does not take into account the past week, which is expected to increase the total substantially when the recent downpours are included.
A Met Office spokesman admitted there is unlikely to be any change in the situation as the distinct North-South weather divide grows even wider.
He said: We have noticed a marked difference between the weather north and south of the Border during the month of July.
It has been pretty miserable in Scotland and we expect to see further showers over the weekend, some of which could be heavy.
There will be a slight improvement on Saturday when it will remain dry in some areas but not for long, as the showers will return on Sunday and Monday.
The forecaster disclosed that even areas that traditionally enjoy better weather during July such as the East coast are also experiencing more heavy bursts of rain on a near-daily basis.
He said: Perhaps the only bright side is the fact that it has not been as cold, as temperatures are about average for this time of year.
Unfortunately, it is too early to say whether or not there is going to be an Indian summer. Certainly at this stage we can only hope there is going to be better weather in Scotland.
Ironically, the dramatic shift in the weather pattern is in stark contrast to the glorious heatwave enjoyed last summer as Glasgow played host to the 2014 Commonwealth Games.
As hundreds of thousands of visitors witnessed the sporting spectacular and many millions around the world watched the events on television the organisers must have thought all their prayers had been answered as, day after day, the city was bathed in sunshine.
Many hoped that by staging the largest multi-sport event ever held north of the Border there would be a subsequent tourism spin-off during the coming years.
But any travellers visiting Glasgow yesterday had to endure grey skies and dodge the ever-present showers a far cry from the rays soaked up only a year ago.