UK & World News
Flood Fears: One Month's Rainfall In Two Days
A severe flood warning has been issued as forecasters say up to a month's rain could fall in 24 hours.
The Environment Agency has urged communities in the North, the East, the Midlands and much of Wales to be prepared for flooding as two bands of very heavy rain were set to cross the UK today and into Saturday.
The Met Office has issued an amber weather warning - the second highest, and meaning "be prepared".
Up to 100mm of rain could fall in 36 hours during the downpours. The average UK rainfall for July is 69.9mm.
Yorkshire, the North East, the Midlands and East Anglia are likely to take the brunt of the severe weather later today, the Environment Agency said.
The risk of flooding was expected to be the highest of the year, with properties and transport in some parts of the country likely to be hit, the agency said.
Craig Woolhouse, head of flood incident management at the Environment Agency, said: "We are expecting some very significant flooding in the coming days across large parts of the country and would strongly urge people to sign up to flood warnings, keep a close eye on the forecasts for their area and be prepared for flooding.
"We would also ask that people stay safe, by keeping out of dangerous floodwater and not attempting to walk or drive through it.
"The Environment Agency has already opened incident rooms and has teams out on the ground checking on flood defences and clearing any blockages in order to reduce the risk of flooding as much as possible."
Tony Waters, deputy chief forecaster at the Met Office, said: "We are expecting spells of very heavy and thundery rain across a wide area of the UK in the next few days, with worst affected spots likely to be in central and northern parts of the country.
"Rainfall totals could be 20-40mm widely across warning areas, but some places could see around 100mm of rain through today and into tomorrow.
"Given the saturated ground from the record rainfall in June, this could cause significant disruption - including difficult driving conditions and flooding in some areas."
Sky News weather presenter Isobel Lang said: "Our weather is showing no signs of settling down despite already enduring a record-breaking wet April and June.
"After Thursday's showers and thunderstorms across eastern and northern Britain, Friday will see prolonged and heavy rainfall spreading up across East Anglia, the Midlands, Wales and into southern Ireland.
"Atrocious driving conditions are expected along with some flooding.
"Saturday will bring yet more wet weather, this time mainly across north east England and southern and eastern Scotland again bringing a flood risk.
"Showers on Sunday could be heavy across southern Britain."
The wet weather has already caused delays to some of this year's big summer sporting fixtures, including Wimbledon and England Test matches.
Last month was the wettest June since records began, with double the average rain falling during the month.
The exceptional amount of rain caused floods in Wales and parts of England.
It was the second month this year to see record-breaking amounts of rain, with April also the wettest, according to records dating back more than a century to 1910.
So far this summer there has only been one spell of prolonged fine weather during the second half of May.
The wet weather is set to continue for two weeks, but it it's not all bad news - sunshine and warmer weather could arrive later this month, in time for the Olympic Games.