UK weather: Heavy rain and winds set to bring disruption

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The Bristol International Balloon FiestaImage copyright
REUTERS

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The Bristol International Balloon Fiesta is one of several events to be scaled back due to forecast strong winds

Heavy rain and strong winds are expected to cause disruption across the UK on Friday as several yellow weather warnings come into effect.

The Met Office forecasts “unseasonable” conditions – with gusts of 40-50mph in West Wales, Devon and Cornwall, and parts of the Channel coast.

Weekend thunderstorms could bring flooding, closed roads and power cuts.

The rain warning covers Whaley Bridge where residents were recently evacuated after a dam above the town was damaged.

Derbyshire Police said if the water in the Toddbrook Reservoir reached a “level of concern” people who have been allowed to move home would be “the first to know”.

A band of heavy rain followed by heavy showers or thunderstorms was forecast for most of the UK, triggering a warning for the whole of Friday.

The Met Office says 10-15mm of rain is widely expected, with as much as 30mm expected to fall in a few hours in some places.

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ScotRail

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Engineers pump water from a train tunnel in Scotland – with more rain on the horizon

Friday’s warning of wind covering parts of Wales, South West and southern England lasts from 15:00 BST until midnight. A similar warning affects most of England and Wales during the whole of Saturday.

The warning of thunderstorms will last through Saturday into Sunday morning, covering Northern Ireland, most of Scotland and northern parts of England.

Neil Armstrong, chief meteorologist at the Met Office, said: “This low-pressure system will bring challenging conditions, including unseasonably strong winds and heavy rain, from the west.”

“Summer storms – compared with those in autumn and winter – always have the potential to create additional impacts because more people are likely to be outdoors, especially by the coast,” he added.

Mr Armstrong also said trees in full leaf – as they are in summer – were more vulnerable to being felled by strong winds.

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Hundreds of people had arrived in Newquay before Boardmasters festival was called off

Amid forecast winds of up to 60mph, music festival Boardmasters, in Newquay, was called off on Wednesday.

Houghton, a dance music festival in Norfolk, was also cancelled just hours before it was due to start, its “devastated” organisers announced on Facebook.

The Bristol International Balloon Fiesta has also been scaled back while the National Eisteddfod music festival in north Wales said it had “contingency plans” in place.

Richard Leonard, head of road safety at Highways England, urged drivers to check conditions before they travel and “consider if their journey is necessary”.

The RNLI has also warned people visiting the coast to beware of large waves and storms.

Rail passengers across Scotland faced train delays for almost 24 hours disruption on Thursday after a tunnel flooded following 50mm of rainfall on Wednesday.



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