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Heavy rain lashes parts of UK amid ‘downright dangerous’ road conditions

Written by on 3 October 2020

Parts of the UK are being lashed by heavy rain as forecasters issue the first amber weather warnings since March.

One such warning for rain is in place in Wales, the West Midlands, and southwest England until 6am on Sunday.

Another covers Central, Tayside and Fife, and the Grampian region in Scotland from 6pm on Saturday until 6am on Sunday.

Flooding and travel disruption is expected with more than 20 alerts in place in England as well as a more severe warning.

There are also a dozen flood alerts and six warnings in Scotland.

There are amber and yellow warnings for much of the country on Saturday and Sunday. Met Office pic

Homes and businesses “are likely to be flooded”, the Met Office said, adding that fast flowing or deep floodwater is likely, causing “danger to life”.

Meteorologists say there has been 45-60mm of rain widely across southern England.

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Many places will see 25-50mm of rainfall this weekend, and there is the potential for more than 120mm on some of the most exposed high ground of Snowdonia and Exmoor.

Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire, Central Tayside and Fife plus the Grampian regions of Scotland are set to be hit by 40-70mm of rain with more than 120mm possible over high ground on Saturday, the Met Office said.

Yellow rain warnings are also in place for the east of England, London and the South East plus much of Wales, western England and eastern Scotland where heavy rain is set to push in from the North West.

The rain is set to last throughout Saturday and into Sunday in these areas.

Carol Holt, from the Environment Agency, said “widespread and persistent rain is likely to lead to flooding” in some areas over the weekend.

Autumn weather Oct 2nd 2020
Waves crash along the coast at Swanage in Dorset. Parts of the UK are preparing to be lashed by heavy rain and high winds as Storm Alex heralds the arrival of a stretch of bad weather over the weekend.
Swanage in Dorset was among the parts of the UK to feel the effects of Storm Alex from France

She added: “We urge people to stay away from swollen rivers and not to drive though flood water – it is often deeper than it looks and just 30cm (300mm) of flowing water is enough to float your car.”

It comes after heavy rain and winds of up to 61mph battered parts of the UK on Friday, as Storm Alex – named by the French meteorological office – arrived from Europe.

Saturday Afternoon Weather
Saturday Evening Weather

Power cuts were recorded in some areas, including in Portsmouth, Southampton, towns east of Reading, Devon, Cornwall, Dorset and Somerset.

Met Office spokeswoman Nicola Maxey said: “A second rain front is coming to replace Storm Alex over the weekend, pushing in from the east on Saturday morning and affecting western areas later on.

“The rain is slowly pushing north but it will be relieved as it goes.

“On Saturday, most of the country will be affected by rain, and it’s looking heaviest in the centre, down the spine of the country from Aberdeen to Bristol.”

Saturday Night Weather
Sunday Afternoon Weather

Sky’s weather presenter Nazaneen Ghaffar said: “The areas of rain will continue pushing north and westwards this afternoon, so central-southern and eastern England will become drier and brighten up.

“However, heavy rain will spread to western Scotland.”

She added: “Tonight, the heavy rain will continue to spread westwards to Ireland and Northern Ireland.

“Tomorrow, showery rain with some heavy downpours will affect most of Ireland, Wales, the Midlands and central southern England through the day.

“The north and east of England will be mainly dry, as will all of Scotland, except for the north where rain is likely.”

Autumn weather Oct 2nd 2020
Waves crash along the coast at Swanage in Dorset. Parts of the UK are preparing to be lashed by heavy rain and high winds as Storm Alex heralds the arrival of a stretch of bad weather over the weekend.
Some towns were hit by power cuts due to the storm on Friday

RAC Breakdown spokesman Rod Dennis said that road conditions will be “miserable if not downright dangerous” for drivers this weekend.

He said they will need to be prepared for “an ugly mix” of surface spray, gusty winds and more than likely some disruption on the roads.

Breakdown cover provider Green Flag said it expected an average of nine breakdowns per minute on UK roads between Friday and Monday.

.   BRIGHTON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 02: Waves break along the beach on October 02, 2020 in Brighton, England. (Photo by Luke Dray/Getty Images)
Flooding in some parts of the country could cause ‘danger to life’, the Met Office has said

Mark Newberry, commercial director at Green Flag, said he expected Saturday to be their busiest day, with a 10% increase in breakdowns compared to usual.

Drivers are being warned to take extra care on the roads over the weekend.