UK weather: flood warnings as jet stream brings misery
Downpours set to continue for rest of June thanks to unfortunate positioning of Atlantic winds
BRITAIN is braced for a week of heavy rain, thunderstorms and hail, with flood warnings issued for huge swathes of the country today.
The severe 30-hour weather warning was issued by the Met Office for London, the Home Counties, Dorset, Sussex, Kent and Essex. Yorkshire, Wales and much of the north are also on flood alert, The Daily Telegraph reports.
The warnings follow a weekend of misery for many residents of Mid-Wales, who were evacuated after floods tore through their homes on Saturday morning. RAF rescuers had to mount a helicopter evacuation of holidaymakers caught out by a torrent of water at the Aberystwyth Holiday Park.
Authorities also carried out a controlled release of water from a reservoir on Sunday night. North Wales Police evacuated residents from Pennal, near Machynlleth, Powys, following reports of a breach in the dam, which lies above the village.
The reason for this unsettled, severe weather is the jet stream. Normally at this time of year, low-pressure systems track to the north west of the British Isles, taking the worst of the rain and winds with them and leaving much of the country dry.
This summer has seen those low-pressure systems stretching across the south and east of the country, bringing with them this recent unsettled severe weather.
Jet streams - fast winds that blow around six miles up in the atmosphere - are created where tropical warm conditions meet icy polar air.
This year, after crossing the Atlantic, the jet stream has been accelerating much further south than usual, forcing air upwards into the atmosphere and creating a huge low pressure system at the earth's surface right over southern England. This has brought high winds, heavy rain and cooler conditions.
The bad weather looks set to continue. George Goodfellow, a Met Office forecaster, admitted the conditions were not "particularly brilliant" and warned the "unsettled conditions" would remain until at least the end of next week.
Fears are mounting that major events, including Wimbledon, Royal Ascot and the Henley regatta, could be washed out over the coming weeks with no sign of summery weather forecast until the end of June.