News In Depth
More rain and 60mph winds warning
Much of England and Wales will experience further downpours while strong winds of up to 60mph are set to batter parts of the UK over the weekend.
The wet weather shows no signs of relenting and is likely to continue well into next week as one of the wettest Aprils on record comes to an end.
However the deluge is not expected to be enough to avert a drought across parts of the country and water companies are unlikely to lift their hosepipe bans.
Brendan Jones, forecaster at MeteoGroup, the weather division of the Press Association, said: "The wettest areas today (Friday) will be East Anglia, Wales and southern England, which can expect sharp, heavy downpours this afternoon.
"There's also likely to be some lightning and hail - the sorts of things we've got quite used to over the past week."
He said the rain was then expected to move northwards to north Wales and the North Midlands later, with the worst affected areas experiencing up to 10mm of rain.
"Tomorrow is not looking too bad but parts of England and Wales are going to get a real soaking on Sunday. Some of the wettest weather will be in southern England with up to 40mm falling. It will then move further north with Scotland and Northern Ireland getting the rain by Sunday night."
Mr Jones said gusts of 55 to 60mph were set to hit coastal areas on Sunday, but it was currently unclear which parts of the country would be worst affected.
"They are especially strong for what is ultimately getting towards late spring," he said. "We would not normally see such strong winds at this time of year.
"There will potentially be another band of rain on Tuesday. The weather isn't going to get any better in the foreseeable future."
So far this month there has been 175% more rain than would be normal, MeteoGroup forecaster Nick Prebble said.
The Environment Agency said 10 flood warnings were in place in north-east England while there were 38 flood alerts across the country.
On Thursday Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman told MPs the rain would not avert the drought and water companies were right to impose a hosepipe ban.
Speaking in the House of Commons, Ms Spelman said this month's deluge did not make up for the last two dry winters and the Government was well prepared for this summer's drought as they had "seen it coming".
Labour warned there could be a shortage of drinking water as more people were relying on bore holes in their gardens.
The weather is good news for gardeners, who have welcomed the downpours.
Guy Barter, chief horticultural adviser at the Royal Horticultural Society, said: "The RHS and gardeners welcome the rain we have been having.
"Although several weeks of similar rain are needed to ease the drought and allow hosepipe bans to be lifted, the soil moisture levels are restored after a dry March. As soon as temperatures rise, plants will start growing vigorously.
"Established plants will need no watering, but newly planted plants will need watering when summer arrives. Water butts will have filled nicely by then, even those bought in the recent rush, and their contents can be used in the sunny summer we hope for, when these chilly April showers are long forgotten."
what do you think?
Ridiculous. In my area ground water levels are well up and the surface is flooding. The local reservoir is full to the brim. Do they think we don't have eyes and can't work things out for ourselves or something. Shakes head.
not enough water ? Just have to drink beer instead
wow 2 pints for a fiver,i must be getting old as i think thats very expensive for a happy hour
Don't they use water to make beer.
Gary Djuncleabe Kelly
Are the pics photoshopped? I am sure we was told we are in a drought..... wettest drought I ever saw LOL
Yes - I drove around Dorset & Devon in 1976 in deluges of rain, and lots of local flooding - seeing signs saying You are Now Entering Drought Country! But that was at the end of a long hot Summer. but drought is not just about visible wetness! What causes it is when prolonged dry spells dry up ALL the sources of water including underground reserves and springs etc. A lot of this current rain will swell rivers and run down to the sea. What the drought areas need is months of frequent rain to soak through the ground again and refill the underground levels that are our last reserves.
are these floods because of rain fall or a total lack of drainage on the roadside adequate enough to handle the rain
that would be due to the highways agency and councils etc always tacking the cheapest quote .
whats the problem nature always has and always will balance itselfe .
I think we British are well used to a spot of rain and gusts of 60 mph are no big deal, so what's the problem?
all this talk of drought will be an excuse for the water people to pat themselves on the back at the end of "the drought" and put up prices.
The pubs name is funny tho
Bore holes in the garden???? what are these idiots on?
Ah yes, the bore hole, situated within the confines of the moat. I must get the Estate Manager to keep his eye on this! Who are they kidding?
As I recall the current persistant rain and stronger cold winds always used to be a feature of March, not April. The old saying was that if March came in like a lamb it would go out like a Lion. So this weather is a month late this year. As for the rush to buy one's own water bore hole tapping in to the underground water reserves - could that be adding to drought problems? I have also thought what a good idea it would be if all homes with a sutitable garden were helped to install underground rain water tanks from which water could be pumped to water gardens and (with just a little treatment) - to flush toilets. these are two major water uses that don't require fully purified drinking water. The overfill could then go to surrounding soakaways as normal. If I can collect 150 L from small outdoor roofs - think what we could store!
never seen so much rain in a drought where is all going
I only hope that the planning offices are taking this flooding into concideration. How much more damage has to be done before they stop giving planning permission to builders to build on green belt land.
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And they say there is a hose pipe ban...
I just wonder how the animal's are coping? I see horse's just standing in flooded fields. Human's can cope, but some animal's are dependant on us.
Personally I just want toget my bedding out plants in situ now, but looks like more heavy rain and winds could batter them a bit. Think our weather is up the shute!