After months of scorching temperatures, Britain’s baked earth will be unable to absorb rainfall effectively, sier eksperter
Britain is on high alert for flash flooding as the heatwave gives way to heavy thunderstorms and torrential rain on parched ground.
De Met Office issued yellow weather warnings for thunderstorms and rain across most of Britain until late on Tuesday, with a small chance that fast-moving water could cause “risk to life”. These dangers will persist in southern England until Wednesday.
There was localised flooding in parts of Cornwall, Devon and Somerset on Monday – the same day as those areas were hit by a hosepipe ban because of the dry summer drought.
“There are likely to be more flash floods,” Tom Morgan, a forecaster at the Met Office, fortalte Den uavhengige på mandag.
Elsewhere in England, a band of weather bringing hail and lightning could adversely affect places stretching from Lincolnshire to Essex, han la til.
As well as potentially causing power outages, the long-awaited rain could result in flooded homes and businesses.
The National Drought Group has moved parts of the South West, parts of southern and central England, and the East of England into official drought status, while six water companies have imposed or announced plans to impose hosepipe restrictions.
The risk of surface water flooding is a result of this summer’s soaring temperatures, which have baked much of Britain’s soil, meaning it is now unable to soak up rainwater effectively. Rain will run off such soil and lead to flash flooding.
“This excess water can rapidly inundate some flood-prone areas. Spesielle områder med forsiktighet er lavtliggende veistrekninger og de områdene som grenser til skrånende felt der vann raskt kan renne av, creating fast-emerging hazards,” said Dan Suri, chief forecaster at the Met Office.
Professor Hannah Cloke, a hydrology specialist at the University of Reading, said it is not just rural areas that face sudden flooding.
Drains in cities like London might not be able to cope with the volume of runoff rainfall, potentially leading to the flooding of the Tube and underground car parks, hun sa.
"Det er ikke slik at vi ikke har sett dette nylig,” Prof Cloke added, referring to the floods experienced in the capital last year.
Robert Caudwell, formann i Avløpsetatenes Forening (DET ER), also expressed his concern for the situation this week, saying there is “very little” his industry can do to prevent it.
Normally, water companies could take some water out of the system to reduce the risk of flooding, according to Mr Caudwell. derimot, this cannot be done because of the current tørke and because it is difficult to predict the upcoming thunderstorm’s locations, han sa.
Forrige uke, an official drought was declared in eight parts of England, including Cornwall, south London and the East Midlands. Hosepipe bans will be implemented across parts of the country in the coming weeks.
This week’s rain will do little to dent the severe shortage of water the UK is now experiencing.
Christine Colvin, direktør for advokatvirksomhet og engasjement i Rivers Trust, sa: "Vi ønsker at folk skal holde denne nedbørshendelsen i sammenheng og som en del av det større bildet, og det større bildet er at vi faktisk fortsatt har hatt et utrolig tørt år så vel som en tørr sommer, og det kommer til å kreve vedvarende nedbør for å fylle opp forsyningene våre.»
«Bare fordi det regner, det betyr ikke at tørken er over," la Ms Colvin til.
On this point, John Curtin, executive director of operations at the Environment Agency, said we are in a “twilight zone of having both flood and drought warnings”, while Prof Cloke said the heavy rainfall will be “a drop in the ocean”.
Conditions will become less humid and temperatures will fall as the week goes on, but highs in the mid-20s are still expected in the coming days, the Met Office said.