United Kingdom

Britain hit with flash floods strike ahead of two-week soaking and 60mph gales

Britons will have to wait a bit longer for the start of a sizzling summer as a grim two-week soaking is forecast to dampen the reopening of the hospitality industry.

Having already suffered the coldest April in almost a century, the rest of May is predicted to be hit with a series of washouts, 60mph gales, 25ft waves bashing the south west coast - and even snow in Scotland.

The Met Office warned there had already been 'lots' of lightning strikes, showers and thunderstorms hitting northern England and southern Scotland today and they would continue through into tonight.

'Showers and a few thunderstorms will rumble on for a little while this evening, but will gradually ease down with time,' a spokesperson said.

Pictures show parts of Bolton were hit with flash flooding after the area saw heavy rainfall throughout the day.

The local council urged people to avoid travelling through Horwich where a roundabout had become flooded and left several cars stuck in water.

Britons will have to wait a bit longer for the start of a sizzling summer as a grim two-week soaking is forecast to dampen the reopening of the hospitality industry. Pictured: A cyclist navigates flash flooding in Horwich, Greater Manchester this evening

Pictures show parts of Bolton were hit with flash flooding after the area saw heavy rainfall throughout the day. The Met Office warned there had already been 'lots' of lightning strikes, showers and thunderstorms across northern parts of England today

The local council urged people to avoid travelling through Horwich where a roundabout had become flooded and left several cars stuck in water

Residents added that the water was almost 'knee-deep' in places with some gardens also submerged.

Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service tweeted: 'Our crews are currently responding to numerous reports of flooding in the Chorley New Road area of Horwich, Bolton. 

'We're working with @boltoncouncil @gmpolice to tackle it and keep residents safe. Please stay away from the area.'

The torrid forecast means Britons will shiver into summer with wet weather and cool highs next week as well - as forecasters dubbed 2021 the 'year without spring'.

Met Office forecaster Marco Petagna said: 'It's quite shocking, with mid-teen temperatures and rain signalled over the next 14 days.

'Wet and windy weather and big waves are potentially on the way. Such cool temperatures across Europe are incredible for late spring.'

The Weather Outlook forecaster Brian Gaze said: 'It feels like we've barely had spring this year – but brief warmer incursions are possible further ahead with subtropical air.'

Met Office weather maps show the deluge moving across England and Wales this afternoon

Temperatures managed to pick up to around 15C earlier in the day but will drop towards single figures tonight

The torrid forecast means Britons will shiver into summer with wet weather and cool highs next week as well - as forecasters dubbed 2021 the 'year without spring'

It comes as life takes a step closer to normality tomorrow as more coronavirus restrictions are removed - allowing people to return to museums, theatres, cinemas and pubs, thankfully all indoors 

Ex-BBC and Met Office forecaster John Hammond of weathertrending said: 'Deep areas of low pressure will continue the wet spell – although occasional computer models do show an influx of hot air from the south from late in the month. 30C really would be a shock.'

But 30C spells are set to finally blow in from the south in June, cheering staycationing sunseekers.

Even allowing for the mercury to recover to closer to normal, UK temperatures across this April and May are set to average around 7.1C, which Met Office figures show would be the coldest for 70 years, since 1951. 

It comes as life takes a step closer to normality tomorrow as more coronavirus restrictions are removed - allowing people to return to museums, theatres, cinemas and pubs, thankfully all indoors. 

As of Monday groups of six or two households will be allowed to meet indoors for the first time in months and overnight visits will also be allowed. 

Outdoors the limit will rise to 30 in the most significant loosening yet while people will also be able to fly abroad to countries on the green list.

There will be relief for the entertainment sector as cinemas and theatres can reopen if people wear masks and hotels and B&Bs which do not have self-catering facilities are permitted to open.

The much-criticised cap on the number of mourners at funerals will be lifted, while up to 30 people will be allowed at weddings and other life events.

The changes come amid concerns about the rising numbers of the Indian variant of Covid-19, with the Government insisting it is 'taking nothing off the table' in the fight against it. 

Last week Prime Minister Boris Johnson thanked the public for their commitment as he said infections were now at the 'lowest level since last July'.

He said: ‘The data now support moving to step three in England from next Monday 17th May.’

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