As warm as Barcelona! South of England is set to bask in 63F sunshine this week – but north and Scotland will face flooding and torrential rain
- Dry and sunny for this week in South and East England after rain moves east and fizzles out this morning
- But North and West due to see windy and wet conditions from tomorrow amid rain warning in Scotland
- Settled weather likely into next weekend and the beginning of March for central and southern England
- Balmy temperatures of almost 61F (16C) over the weekend were a welcome relief from recent big freeze
Britain faces a North/South weather divide this week, with northern parts enduring heavy downpours and flooding while southern areas enjoy temperatures up to 63F (17C) on a par with Barcelona.
Conditions are likely to remain dry and sunny for most of the week in the South and East after rain moves east and fizzles out this morning, with the warmest temperatures expected on Wednesday and Thursday.
But the North and West is due to see windy and wet conditions especially from tomorrow, while the Met Office has issued a rain warning for parts of Scotland from midnight tonight until 6pm on Wednesday.
Meanwhile dust and sand particles whipped up from the Sahara may well be seen in the far South East today, with Defra warning of an ‘increased chance of pockets of moderate air pollution’ due to the plume.
Settled weather is likely to continue into next weekend and the beginning of March for central and southern areas – with mild daytimes but frost remaining possible at night, the Met Office added.
It comes after Britons came out of hibernation over the weekend as balmy temperatures of almost 61F (16C) were a welcome relief from the recent big freeze as winter woollies were swapped for shorts and T-shirts.
Queues for ice cream on Hampstead Heath in North London yesterday as the country enjoyed its warmest day of 2021 so far
Crowds of people enjoy a stroll in the pleasant weather on The Long Walk near Windsor Castle in Berkshire yesterday
The highest UK temperature yesterday was 15.9C (60.9F) at Weybourne in Norfolk, which made it the country’s warmest day of the year so far, while Shoeburyness in Essex recorded six hours of sunshine on Saturday.
Yesterday at Braemar in the Scottish Highlands – which was hit by Britain’s coldest night for more than 25 years on February 11, with temperatures plunging to -9.4F (-23C) – the snow drifts had all but melted away.
But while walkers enjoyed spring sunshine only days after the snow, milder air brought torrential downpours for western areas and the misery of more flooding when almost a month and a half’s rain fell in less than two days.
The wettest place in Wales, Llyn y Fan in the Brecon Beacons, recorded 5.6in (141mm) between 9am on Friday and 6pm on Saturday. In comparison, the average rainfall in South Wales for the whole of February is 3.9in (98mm).
Heavy rain also fell in the South West and Cumbria, and homes were evacuated at Newcastle Emlyn in Ceredigion, west Wales, where the River Teifi burst its banks. Flooding also caused disruption on local roads and railways.
Today, the Environment Agency had 11 flood warnings, meaning flooding is likely, in place in England – five of which were on the River Wye, in Herefordshire. There are also a further 83 less-serious flood alerts for the country.
Natural Resources Wales imposed nine alerts and two warnings, mostly on the Teifi and Towy in South West Wales, and the Lower Dee, in Denbighshire. The Scottish Environment Protection Agency had four alerts and 25 warnings.
There are 83 flood alerts (in amber) and 11 warnings (in red)
Over the weekend, several businesses were deluged in Carmarthen. Malcolm Rees, who restores heritage boats in the area, said one of his sheds was submerged in water one meter (3ft 3in) deep.
Mr Rees said his family have used the shed since the 1930s and, until recent years, only experienced a single flood in 1987. But he added: ‘In the last couple of years it’s been in three of four times.’
In Scotland yesterday, a remarkable 36C turnaround in the country’s weather was completed in the space of only ten days. Following the Braemar low on February 11, Edinburgh reached a balmy 55F (13C) yesterday.
But while parts of the country saw temperatures more typical of early May, in Ballater, Aberdeenshire, melting snow and heavy rain caused flooding said to be the worst since Storm Frank in December 2015.
Ballater Council chairman James Anderson, 38, said: ‘Houses were evacuated as a precautionary measure. We were putting out sandbags on Saturday night from around 9pm… there is a lot of community spirit.’
Landslips on the A83 at the Rest and Be Thankful, Argyll, saw 700 tons of mud and 250 tons of silt and debris hit the Old Military Road. Flooding shut several roads in Scotland, including the A821 near Brig o’ Turk, Stirlingshire.
Up to five inches of rain could fall over 42 hours in Central, Tayside and Fife, the South West, Lothian and Borders and western Strathclyde. Some communities could even become cut off by floods and power cuts are possible.
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