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UK weather: Rain returns for Britain prompting new flood alerts

Large parts of the United Kingdom are experiencing fresh rainfall after a brief respite, with hundreds of flood alerts and warnings already in place.

On Wednesday, milder conditions were expected to persist with clouds covering more regions, bringing some heavy and quite persistent rain through the day, the Met Office forecast showed.

Overnight the temperatures remained in stark contrast between the north and south with Scotland dipping into freezing levels while Southern England saw a warmer night at 10-12 degrees Celsius.

Vehicles driven through a flooded road in Aldingbourne, West Sussex last week (PA)
Vehicles driven through a flooded road in Aldingbourne, West Sussex last week (PA)

Rain is expected to spread across northern Scotland on Wednesday with some hilly areas seeing snowfall and some bright spells in eastern England.

Met Office meteorologist Annie Shuttleworth said the weather will be “very mild” on Wednesday, but “it will be quite wet”.

“We’re gonna see heavy bursts of rain pushing in from the south and west. There will be some heavy bursts, particularly on Wednesday evening and through much of Thursday, when we have quite a large frontal system that will sweep across the country, bringing some heavy and quite persistent rain through the day,” she said.

The next couple of days are expected to remain gloomy, withrainfall intensifying on Thursday, the forecaster said.

The Environment Agency has warned residents in flood warning zones to avoid walking, cycling or driving through flood water with hundreds of flood alerts in place.

Flood alerts issued across southern and central England on Wednesday (Environment Agency)
Flood alerts issued across southern and central England on Wednesday (Environment Agency)

The showers return after a brief respite following flooding and travel disruptions last week when up to 10cm of snowfall was recorded, with many areas already on saturated ground.

The Met Office said that while there are no weather warnings in place for rain as of yet, the saturated ground “increases the sensitivity for rain events”.

Met Office forecaster Andrea Bishop said: “It does look a wet week, with Thursday looking the wettest day.

“With regards to Thursday’s rain, the rain will push northeastwards across most of the country, with many places seeing 20mm or so over the course of a day or two.

Later on Friday, “drier and brighter” conditions are expected with just a few showers in England and Wales. As the weekend approaches, milder conditions will take over the UK with the next couple of weeks remaining mild, the Met Office said.

The Nor’easter storm that is dumping snow and rain in the United States is going to be travelling across the Atlantic, impacting the UK by the end of the week.

“As this storm comes closer across the Atlantic, it will be dredging up this mild air, and we’re going to continue to see that mild air boot out that colder air out the way,” Ms Shuttleworth said.