UK weather forecast: Heavy rain to return after flooding causes huge disruption to Christmas getaway

Forecasters have issued another severe weather warning with heavy rain set to hit the UK again, after flooding caused massive disruption during the Christmas getaway.

The Met Office has issued a yellow warning for rain across southern England from midnight on Friday until midday on Sunday.

Up to 30mm of rain could fall while the warning is in place, with flash flooding and difficult driving conditions possible.

In England, the Environment Agency has issued 97 flood warnings, where flooding is expected, alongside 256 flood alerts, which warn flooding is possible.

It comes after flooding brought massive travel disruption on Friday, particularly across the south east of the country.

A busy motorway was partly closed and several rail lines were blocked.

a group of people crossing a street holding an umbrella on a rainy day© Provided by Evening StandardA severe weather warning for fog has also been issued by the Met Office until 11am on Sunday covering most of Northern Ireland.

Forecaster Craig Snell told the Standard: “For southern parts including London there will still be areas of rain passing overnight.

“In the north it will be drier but there could be some fog in the morning. We have got a warning out for fog in Northern Ireland, which could lead to transport disruption.

“Going into tomorrow there will be showers in the south from the word go, some heavy, some sunny spells. In the north the fog will be slow to clear and there will be sunshine and some patchy rain.

“It all goes downhill again tomorrow afternoon and evening, with a band of rain reaching Devon and Cornwall in the late afternoon and working its way through southern England.

“A yellow weather warning is in place until midday on Sunday. 10 to 15mm will fall widely and there could be as much as 30mm in some places, and more travel disruption is possible.”

On Friday, The M23 was closed between junctions 10 and 11 in West Sussex for around eight hours after a nearby watercourse burst its banks.

a train traveling down train tracks next to a river: Flooding on the M23 on Friday (PA)© Provided by Evening Standard Flooding on the M23 on Friday (PA)

Sussex Police described driving conditions as “miserable” and said there was “a lot of standing water on the roads”.

Devon and Cornwall Police said flooding across the force area made “a number of roads impassable”, while Norfolk and Suffolk Police said roads in both counties were affected by floodwater.

Highways England urged motorists to adapt their driving for wet weather by slowing down, keeping well back from the vehicle in front and easing off the accelerator if steering becomes unresponsive.

Train passengers were urged not to travel between Brighton and Gatwick Airport on Friday morning, with a heavily reduced service in place by the afternoon.

Network Rail said heavy rain caused significant flooding on the Brighton main line, with water “completely submerging the rails in some areas”.

A landslip in Surrey blocked all lines between Guildford and Godalming, disrupting South Western Railway and Great Western Railway services.

No Southeastern trains were able to run between Maidstone West and Strood due to a tree on the line and a landslip.

John Halsall, managing director of Network Rail’s southern region, said the combination of one of the wettest autumns since records began with a month’s worth of rainfall in the past five days has put the rail network “under enormous pressure”.

Mr Snell added: “Going into the Sunday the rain will be slow to clear but there will be some improvement in the afternoon and sunshine may begin to break through. For the rest of the UK there will be sunshine and showers.

“Monday will be fairly dry but another band of rain will work its way across southern parts overnight on Monday and into Tuesday.

“The early signs are that Christmas day will be dry with sunny spells as an area of high pressure moves in. There may well be wintry showers on higher ground but the chances of a white Christmas for many will be very, very small.”


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