UK weather misery continues as 'once-in-50-year' flooding hits

Jun 15, 2012

Flood warnings in place across Wales and west of England as Atlantic storm front moves in

BRITAIN'S weather misery is set to continue today and over the weekend as a 'once-in-50-years' downpour brings rain of up to 80mm in 12 hours.

The Environment Agency has issued flood warnings for people in west Somerset, Devon, Cornwall, Gloucestershire, north Wales and parts of the Midlands today after the Met Office issued a weather alert for heavy rain, The Daily Mail reports.

Meteorologists were predicting that up to 10mm could fall in one hour during today's rain, and as much as 30mm over a 12-hour period.

The Weather Channel said rivers would be overwhelmed and warned of a "major flooding event."

Weather Channel forecaster Leon Brown said: "There's a 50 per cent possibility of extreme downpours seeing over 80mm of rain in 12 hours in south and east Wales, which is a once-in-50 years event."

Peter Quarmby, the Environment Agency's south east flood and coastal risk manager, said: "We have seen exceptional rainfall in the region over the past few days and have seen the devastating effects that flooding can cause."

"Latest forecasts indicate that heavy rainfall is again expected to cross the south east on Friday and into the weekend. We urge everyone to remain vigilant ahead of further rainfall tomorrow and over the weekend."

Strong winds of up to 60mph are expected to further complicate matters. The extreme weather is being caused by a low pressure system building up over the Atlantic, which is set to hit the south west first before spreading across the country.

Met Office forecaster Dan Williams said: "Over the next 48-hour period we could see up to 40mm of rain in those areas. Across high ground, particularly Snowdonia, we could possibly see 80mm (3in)."

MeteoGroup forecaster Julian Mayes said: "We cannot find a period of June weather worse than this month since records began. For a 12-day period, it's as bad as it can be.

"There's no parallel with this month's combination of very high rainfall, very low sunshine and very low daytime temperatures. The outlook is unsettled and although we don't yet know for sure if it will be the wettest June, it's well on the way."

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