Flood alerts issued as heavy rain and winds forecast
Flood alerts are in force across the country this weekend as heavy rain and strong winds are expected.
A race meeting at Haydock in Merseyside was cancelled due to waterlogged conditions on Saturday and flooding in Cumbria caused disruption to trains.
The Met Office issued a yellow weather warning from 6pm on Saturday to 5pm on Sunday and warned of “persistent” rain and a risk of flooding across the north west and south west of England and Wales.
Twenty-five flood alerts, which warn people to be prepared for possible flooding, were issued for England, mainly in the north west and south west of the country, and eight were in force for Wales.
In a statement on Twitter, Haydock Park Races said: “Following the inspection this morning, unfortunately today’s Craft Beer & Gin Day has been abandoned as the track remains waterlogged.”
The final four races of Friday’s event at the racecourse had been cancelled due to the weather.
Flooding in Brampton, Cumbria, caused delays to trains between Carlisle and Newcastle, although National Rail said trains were beginning to return to normal shortly before 9am.
There was some disruption on the roads, with the entry sliproad of the M65 at junction 10 for Burnley, Lancashire, closed due to flooding.
The bad weather follows on from an unsettled Friday, which saw a water spout form near the Isle of Scalpay in the Outer Hebrides, off the west coast of Scotland.
Met Office meteorologist Alex Burkill said areas such as Devon and Cornwall could see coastal gales of up to 50mph, while between 30mm and 40mm is expected to fall within the warning area over the weekend.
Cities including Leeds, Manchester, Sheffield, Liverpool, Bangor, Swansea and Cardiff are covered by the weather warning.
Mr Burkill said: “We have got a deep area of low pressure that will bring heavy and persistent rain, and strong winds too.
“In terms of rainfall totals, the greatest amounts could be up to 70mm. That will be over the hills and mountains.
“Away from there, some places could see 30mm to 40mm in a short space of time.”
He said there is “likely” to be some disruption to travel over the weekend, with “lots of spray on the roads”.
Mr Burkill said large waves and high spring tides could also increase the risk of “coastal impact” in south-west England.
The weather warning has already led to the cancellation of the inaugural Regatta London race, which was due to take place on the River Thames on Sunday.
Organisers said they were unable to safely run the event due to “stormy weather” affecting the river’s water quality.
The Met Office said there will be sunny spells and showers across England and Wales on Saturday morning, before the worst of the weather arrives later in the evening.
Meteorologist Luke Miall said it will be a “weekend of two halves” in regard to the weather in London.
He said while Saturday will be mostly sunny with some rain in the capital, “heavy showers”, thunder and gusts of up to 30mph are forecast for Sunday.
Temperatures are forecast to reach highs of 19C on both days.
Mr Miall said wind and rain is forecast for the rest of England, Wales, Northern Ireland and southern Scotland throughout most of Sunday.