UK weather: Met Office DASHES hopes of summer drought easing in new long-range forecast

Several yellow rain and thunderstorm warnings are in place throughout the country until the end of Tuesday, with one remaining in place for the southern half of the UK until the end of Wednesday. The Met Office has warned this highlights the potential for “frequent lightning, large hail and flash flooding impacts from the intense rainfall which could see values of at least 50mm in a two or three-hour period in a few places”.

Today, most of the UK is covered by the yellow thunderstorm warnings, with systems expected to develop anywhere within the warning area.

A similar pattern is expected to follow on Tuesday, with the focus shifting to the warnings across southern England by Wednesday.

But in the longer-term, the forecasted heavy rain will not come close to offsetting the incredibly dry summer experienced so far, which has led to a scorching heatwave, droughts and hosepipe bans for millions of Britons.

Met Office Deputy Chief Meteorologist Daniel Rudman said: “Although the warnings are at a broad scale, forecasters expect individual thunderstorms to be quite isolated, and many within the warning in not encountering storm or heavy rain.

“After Wednesday conditions will settle down somewhat for most. Whilst there may be some periods of rain, and it will be unsettled at times in northern and western parts, the heavy downpours associated with thunderstorms become less likely.”

The Met Office added although the first rainfall in several weeks will fall across parts of southern England, the rainfall seen in southern and central areas of the country “is so far less than a quarter of what would be expected in a typical summer”.

There are now only two weeks to go until the end of summer, and it is “not feasible that any expected rainfall will balance the books to produce average results”.

The latest weather maps from WXCHARTS show the rain sweeping across most of the country from the Atlantic in the early part of this week clearing by Friday, with large parts of the UK also mostly dry on Saturday.

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Forecasted highs of 30C could be seen on the south coast on the Saturday and Sunday, and even edging up to as high as 32C in these same areas on Bank Holiday Monday to end the summer on a sweltering high.

The Met Office’s UK long-range forecast for August 20-29 states: “Saturday could bring cloud with patchy rain or showers across the south and southeast initially, but this will soon clear leaving a dry and bright day with sunny spells.

“In the north and northwest showers are likely with the potential for some stronger winds in coastal areas.

“For Sunday and the beginning of next week most areas will see some rain, which could be locally heavy at times. Still a chance of some brighter periods for some.

“This unsettled weather is most likely to continue through the middle of the period with a risk of some periods of prolonged rain in the north, but there is a possibility for a return to more settled conditions at the end of August.

“Temperatures likely to be around normal throughout.”