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Met Office verdict as UK braces for thunder, flooding and 70mph gales

UK weather: Further wet conditions forecast by Met Office

The Met Office has warned the UK will be smashed by heavy rain and possibly thunderstorms as a “strong jet stream” barrels across the Atlantic, with weather forecasters also warning of flooding and brutal 70mph winds. Britain is being drowned in persistent downpours this week as spring gets off to a depressingly wet start. But worse could be to come over the next couple of days, with powerful weather fronts building over the Atlantic that could trigger thunderstorms and gale-force winds.

The latest UK weather maps from WXCHARTS show a huge band of rain sweeping in from the Atlantic and smashing into the south-west on Thursday evening.

This persistent rain continues throughout most of Friday, with the weather map showing most of Britain being soaked heading into the first full weekend of spring.

By that time, up to 32mm of rain is forecast to have drenched an area of southern England, which will bear the brunt of the powerful weather front barrelling in from the Atlantic.

This will trigger a surge of strong winds that one forecaster has warned could surge to as high as 70mph in the south-west of the country.

Met Office spokesman Grahame Madge told “The outlook for the end of March and the first few days of April looks unsettled.

“This week, weather fronts will be bringing periods of moderately heavy rain and showers, some of which could be thundery.

“Temperatures tomorrow will climb to a high of 16C or 17C before trending back down to near average levels by the end of the week.

He added: “Later this week, there is a signal for a fairly deep area of low pressure to affect the south and west of Britain.

“This could bring strong winds and heavy rain but at the moment there is a level of uncertainty about the exact depth and position of this low.

“It is currently forming at the moment and will then be expected to travel across the North Atlantic on a strong jet stream.

“Snow is not expected to feature beyond today’s forecast, but there is the risk of a belt of transient snow developing across the higher elevations of Scotland for a time before turning to rain.”

AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist and Lead European Forecaster Tyler Roys told “The rest of this week is expected to remain unsettled with several rounds of rain.

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“The first one was on Tuesday, another one moves through today, with a third round arriving on Thursday afternoon and continuing into Saturday.

“Following this, high pressure is likely to take over the weather across the UK. This will be centred around Scandinavia.

“There could be some localised flooding in poor drainage areas in southwest England on Thursday night and into Friday, mainly in the typical areas that residents see.”

Mr Roys added: “A wind storm is likely to be racing into southern England Thursday night into Friday. The strong winds from this storm are likely to be across southwest England and the coastal regions of the English Channel.

“Winds could gust as high as 70mph for south-west England and the English Channel islands, otherwise gusts up to 60mph are likely.

“The expectation of the storm at this time is that it will be losing its intensity, therefore the strong winds are not expected to be widespread.”

BBC Weather has warned in its forecast of low pressure and weather systems travelling over the Atlantic that could trigger heavy rain.

There is also a risk of thunderstorms and strong “squally winds”, while hail is also a possibility.

The forecaster said: “The rest of the week will be mostly mild and unsettled, with low pressure and frontal systems coming in from the Atlantic, bringing periods of rain interspersed with brighter but showery periods.

“Some of the rain and showers will be heavy, with risks of hail, thunderstorms and occasionally strong and squally winds.

“There will be risks of localised flooding. Northern Scotland could still be chilly enough for some sleet or snow in the Highlands.”

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