Shropshire Star

Heavy rain could cause travel disruption, Met Office warns

The Met Office has issued yellow weather warnings for heavy rain in south-east England and strong winds in western Scotland.

A van is driven through floodwater on a road into Dawlish, Devon

A deluge of heavy rain could cause travel disruption in parts of England and Wales while strong winds are expected in western Scotland.

The Met Office has issued a yellow weather warning for rain across parts of south-east England from 4pm on Wednesday until 3am on Thursday.

It said spray and flooding on some roads will probably make motorists’ journeys longer and could also cause delays to bus and train services during the “busy evening travel period”.

Some areas could see 15 to 20mm of rainfall within an hour and up to 30 to 40mm over two to three hours, bringing a small chance of flooding to a few homes and businesses, the Met Office said.

Weather warnings September 20-21 2023
(PA Graphics)

It comes as South West Water announced that it will lift all hosepipe restrictions across Devon and Cornwall on September 25.

Amid the soggy weather, the company said Roadford Reservoir is at 53% storage, up 10% from this time last year, while Colliford Reservoir is at 52% storage, up 28% from last year.

The Met Office has also warned of strong winds in western Scotland between 1pm and 7pm on Wednesday.

The warning, covering Argyll and Bute and part of the Highlands, says gusts of 50-60mph are expected fairly widely and a few places are likely to see gusts of 70-75mph, particularly across Mull and Tiree.

Met Office meteorologist Kathryn Chalk said: “We have several warnings out, the latest being the two issued today, one for wind in north-west Scotland and the other for rain in south-east England during the rush hour period and into the early hours.

“Low pressure is dominating with a band of rain pushing its way eastwards, becoming very slow moving across south-eastern areas later.”

She said Wednesday evening’s expected downpours “may lead to some travel disruption, especially during the busy evening travel period as well accompanied by stronger winds too”.

Rain falls on the M5 near Taunton, Somerset
Rain falls on the M5 near Taunton, Somerset (Ben Birchall/PA)

From midnight on Monday to 12pm on Wednesday, Ms Chalk said there has been more than 150mm of rainfall in both Cumbria and Snowdonia, over 100mm in the Brecon Beacons and more than 80mm in Dartmoor, with 165.2mm in Honister Pass, Cumbria, and 161.8mm in North Wales.

On Wednesday, the BBC reported that more than 500 properties in Wales were without power after storm force gusts of 75mph were recorded at Snowdonia.

Earlier weather warnings for rain in parts of Wales and north-west England, in place since 6am on Tuesday, are set to expire at 6pm on Wednesday.

The Environment Agency has issued one flood warning, for Keswick campsite in the Lake District, where overflow is expected.

It has issued 15 flood alerts for areas where flooding is possible, and the affected areas include places along the River Eden in Cumbria and the River Wye in Herefordshire.

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