THUNDERSTORMS are set to batter Britain today – with 35 flood warnings issued and yet MORE heavy rain in store for tomorrow.
Families seeking to make their Christmas getaway this week are likely to be hit by travel chaos – as dreadful weather conditions will cause havoc on the roads and rail network.
The Met Office says heavy, blustery and perhaps thundery showers would pound the west and south coast of the country throughout today.
Severe flooding is especially expected in the South West, with the River Axe and River Yarty both set to reach their peak.
Alerts have also been issued for Herefordshire, Bridlington, Devon, Dorset and Somerset.
Heavy and blustery showers will continue to hit most of the country on Thursday, with a risk of thunder in places.
Met Office forecaster Alex Deakin said: “Most of the showers throughout the day will be across western areas and a few thunderstorms are possible.
“Most of the day will be dry and fine and sunny in the East Midlands, North East England, eastern parts of Scotland.
“Further west the showers will develop into Wales and becoming more widespread across the west throughout the afternoon.
“Temperature wise, a bit cooler than Tuesday overall. Single figures, six or seven across the north and nine, maybe 10 across the south.
“Staying cool and blustery with further showers through Wednesday evening.
“The showers becoming a little more widespread and developing more into the Midlands and we’ll see some across eastern parts of England.
“There’s low pressure dominating towards the north west of Ireland.
“We’ll keep those showers into Thursday morning and some of them could be quite heavy, the risk of thunder in places.
Waves pounded the seafront at West Bay in Dorset[/caption]
“The showers will be most frequent through the morning and could crop up almost anywhere.
“But by the time we get to Thursday afternoon, the showers becoming more confined to northern Ireland, western Scotland, a few over northern England and one or two across Wales.
“Turning drier in the south west ahead of another weather system bringing more cloud and rain.
“An area of cloud is going to arrive later on on Thursday – it’s a set of weather fronts which will bring rain on Thursday night into Friday morning.
“Low pressure systems continue to dominate – and another set of weather fronts bring more rain on Sunday.
“Saturday, if you’re travelling, looks like a largely dry day with just a few showers around, fairly blustery and staying fairly mild.”
It comes as bookies slashed the odds on it being the wettest December on record.
Ladbrokes have cut odds from 8/1 to just 3/1 on this being the wettest December ever.
Meanwhile, it’s just a 1/4 shot on any part of the UK seeing snow on Christmas Day.
Alex Apati of Ladbrokes said: “Punters dreaming of a White Christmas may well get their wish, but not before seeing potentially record-breaking rainfall.”
Helen Roberts from the Met Office told the Sun Online the flooding is due to a lot of recent rainfall, which means the ground hasn’t had a chance to dry.
She added: “We are seeing lots of surface water, which has caused extreme driving issues.”
When is the worst time to travel?
- Friday Dec 21: 3-6pm
- Saturday Dec 22: 10am – 3pm
- Christmas Eve: 2- 4pm
- Heathrow: Dec 21
It comes just as 19 million motorists are expected to be making their way across the country to be with friends and family for the festive season.
As well as weather conundrums, there will be 229 miles of roadworks and rail works for travellers to battle with too.
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Those travelling on some of the country’s main roads and rail networks could face delays on Friday December 21.
Schools breaking up on Friday, December 21 – the closest end-of-term date to Christmas since 2012 – will trigger the most congested getaway rush for years, the RAC said.
“Frantic Friday” will see 19 million vehicles jam roads, the AA said, as commuters clash with school pick-ups and getaway traffic.
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