UK set for '50 days of rain' in one of the wettest summers in over a hundred years

28 May 2024, 10:17 | Updated: 29 May 2024, 22:21

Festival-goers endure heavy rain at the Hay Festival in Hay on Wye in Wales over the weekend
Festival-goers endure heavy rain at the Hay Festival in Hay on Wye in Wales over the weekend. Picture: Alamy

By Luke Jefferies

Forecasters are predicting a summer of persistent rain and wet weather for Brits, as global warming continues to result in more erratic conditions.

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The Met Office has briefed the Government and transport chiefs to prepare for at least 50 days of rain in the next three months, leading to fears over further flooding in the UK and dashing any hopes of a warm British summer.

Last summer saw 40 days of rain, but the Met Office expects this summer to be even worse, jeopardising popular summer events such as Wimbledon, Trooping of the Colour, Royal Ascot and many festivals including Glastonbury.

To count as a rainy day, there must be a minimum of 2.5mm of rain in a 24 hour period.

The UK’s wettest ever summer in 1912 saw rainfall on more than 55 days.

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Forecasters say that low pressure systems are to blame for the wetter than usual conditions.

The Met Office long-range forecast said: “The chances of a wetter-than-average period are higher than a drier-than-average one.

“Rainfall at this time of year has a greater risk of localised heavy downpours and thunderstorms.”

The discouraging outlook comes after a bank holiday weekend that was interrupted by intermittent showers across the country. Outbreaks of further rain are expected for the remainder of this week, with some thundery showers on Tuesday and Wednesday in London and the South East.

The UK has already had a very wet year, with London experiencing its wettest February since 1836, whilst the winter of 2023/24 was the UK’s eighth wettest on record, according to Met Office data.

Climate change is largely to blame for the UK’s wetter weather. As the atmosphere warms, it holds more moisture - around 7% for each degree.

As the average temperature in the UK continues to rise, we can expect to see further increases to rainfall as well.

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