Autumn blows in with a vengeance

Author: By Lewis Smith

Severe weather warnings were issued in Wales, Northern Ireland, Scotland and
much of south-west England as they received as much as two weeks’ worth of
rain in a few hours.

Wales, North-east England, and northern and east Scotland were the worst hit,
with two inches of rain falling, while high winds battered the areas with
gusts of up to 60mph. Southern areas got off comparatively lightly but still
received more than half an inch of rain in the space of three hours.

“There’s been a lot of wet and windy weather, the like of which we
haven’t seen this autumn until now. It’s back to normal after a couple of
very mild months,” said Byron Chalcraft, a Met Office forecaster.

He said temperatures have begun falling and are likely to remain in the region
of 11C to 13C during the daytime for much of the week, noticeably down on
the high teens that were widespread last week. Overnight lows of 4C are
anticipated in parts. “It will feel a lot cooler,” he added.

More than 90 flood alerts were issued by the Environment Agency across most of
England and Wales as a succession of rivers and streams threatened to burst
their banks. A spokesman for the Mid and West Wales Fire Service said that
it had received more than 180 calls and dealt with 100 different incidents.
Thirteen people has been rescued in five separate emergencies caused by
flooding.

Meanwhile, eastern areas, including Aberdeenshire, Tayside, Angus and
Perthshire, saw the worst of the rain in Scotland. Several roads had to be
closed because of flooding and rail services between Aberdeen and Edinburgh
were suspended. Forth Coastguard said it had helped evacuate people from
their homes in Stonehaven and St Andrews after rivers burst their banks.

Rob Hutchinson, a forecaster for MeteoGroup, said the change in temperatures
across the UK will be a “shock to the system” after last week’s
clear skies and warm sunshine.

Ken Hunt of the Environment Agency warned that, while many of the flood alerts
were quickly downgraded, the ground will remain sodden for some days so
there will be a heightened risk of flooding should more rain sweep in.

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