Floods hit Britain: Heavy rain sweeps nation after brutal Storm Mathis deluge with 144 flood warnings – and more downpours on way for Easter
- Met Office has forecasted the next few days to be met with heavy rain
- Temperatures are expected to drop, with highs of 11C in areas of the UK today
- It comes after the wettest March since 1981, with 91% more rain than average
Heavy rain is sweeping the nation in the aftermath of Storm Mathis, with 144 flood warnings and a weekend of intermittent showers ahead.
The Met Office has forecasted the next few days to be met with rain, with heavy downpours expected in the southwest and drizzle in the east.
Temperatures are also predicted to drop, with the BBC anticipating highs of around 11C in certain areas of the UK today.
Meanwhile, this afternoon could see cold temperatures, becoming freezing by the early hours of Sunday. The temperature is expected to rise by Sunday evening.
However, temperatures in northern England are set to drop to around freezing on Sunday, which could reach the south of Wales by the start of next week.
The Met Office has forecasted the next few days to be met with rain, with heavy downpours expected in the southwest and drizzle in the east
There are 144 flood warnings in England, mainly affecting the southwest up to the midlands
Brian Gaze from The Weather Outlook told Express.co.uk: ‘As we head into the weekend, showers become more scattered as the low pressure moves away into the continent.
‘However, colder air from the northeast will be feeding in, so April will start disappointingly chilly, particularly in the north and east of Britain.’
The Met Office forecast says: ‘Drier, brighter interludes are expected at times, however these may be short-lived as further bands of rain move in.
‘Wettest conditions are most likely across southern and western parts of the UK, while the north and east are expected to remain drier.’
It comes after the wettest March since 1981, with 111.3mm of rain (4.3in) falling in England before March 30, 91 per cent more than average.
It was also among the dullest of Marches, with less sunshine than average for the time of year.
Heavy showers are sweeping the nation in the aftermath of Storm Mathis, with 144 flood warnings and a weekend of intermittent downpours ahead
Wales and Northern Ireland also had one of their top ten wettest Marches, while Scotland’s tally was around average. However, it was still not enough to refill reservoirs and aquifers emptied by last year’s drought.
Storm Mathis brought chaos to many parts of Britain on the last day of the month yesterday, as rainfall and gales of nearly 100mph tore up trees, causing chaos on roads and leaving hundreds of homes without power.
Nearly 700 homes in Cornwall suffered power outages, while 93mph gusts were recorded at Gwennap Head near Penzance.
In Tuckingmill, near Camborne, a fallen tree blocked both lanes of Pendarves road, while similar scenes of chaos were recorded in Jersey.
There was heavy traffic on Britain’s road with HGV traffic into the Port of Dover gridlocked and stretching back miles on end. The M1 has also experienced weather related delays.
Forecasters warned that the storm has the potential to cause damage to buildings and flooding.
In Tuckingmill, near Camborne, Cornwall, a tree blocked both lanes of Pendarves road
Commuters were warned of travel chaos with public transport likely to be affected and journey times taking longer. There is also a risk of spray, standing water and some flooding on roads.
Meanwhile, while relentless rain falls down, food prices may soar as foul weather hits farmers just when they should be sowing their springtime corn.
After the wettest March for four decades, they cannot get into their fields because their tractors and seed drilling machinery turn it into a quagmire.
Even fields full of millions of daffodils are swamped, just as farmers and producers gear up for the Easter sales rush.
As well as knocking over millions of daffodils, the stormy weather has left the ground saturated, meaning teams of flower pickers and their machinery to gather the blooms and send to florists’ shops and supermarkets can’t cope with the squelchy, muddy conditions.
It is not just agriculture that is suffering, but Britain’s gardeners cannot mow their lawns or sow their parsnips and lettuces for summertime crops because the ground is so wet.
Commuters were warned of travel chaos with public transport likely to be affected and journey times taking longer
However, reservoirs which only a few weeks ago had dwindled to crisis levels are rapidly refilling, hopefully heading off the threat of summer hosepipe bans.
The farming crisis comes just weeks after the dry winter led to warnings of a drought this summer, with them facing the threat of paying a fortune to irrigate their crops.
Farmers also cannot do their normal spring spraying of crops with weedkiller because the rain washes it away – and the seedlings will be covered in mildew if the weather doesn’t let up.
It is a problem across the British Isles including Ireland, where Stephen Canavan, County Galway chairman for the Irish Farmers’ Association, said beef cattle farmers, especially those had planned to let young calves out from their winter barns into the fields for the spring, face a dilemma.
‘A lot depends on stocking rates but if you take farmers who have had cattle in since October then they really need to get them out to grass as soon as possible,’ he said.
‘The problem is with the level of rain that we have had, that just has not been an option as fields are saturated.’
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