Heavy rain in southern England threatens start of Wimbledon

Heavy rain covered parts of southern England on Monday morning as the weather threatened to affect the start of the Wimbledon tennis tournament.

The Met Office put a yellow weather warning in place across parts of England and South Wales as tennis fans made their way to the courts in south-west London.

The internationally renowned competition, which is often blighted by wet weather, has pushed ahead despite being affected by the pandemic.

WEATHER Wimbledon
(PA Graphics)

The yellow thunderstorm warning says “scattered torrential thundery downpours” could result in flooded roads and is in place until 10pm on Monday.

The Met Office said there is likely to be plenty of surface water on roads and advised people to allow extra time for journeys.

The rain comes as Wimbledon reopened its doors to fans for the first time in over a year, following a weekend of warmer, sunnier weather in south-west London.

However, investment in roofs over Centre Court and Court 1 in recent years means the unpredictable weather is less likely to affect the schedule – although the experience of sitting courtside with strawberries and cream may not feel quite the same.

The roof over Centre Court
The roof over Centre Court (John Walton/PA)

Southern areas are also expected to bear the brunt of rainstorms for the rest of the week, including on Tuesday when England go head-to-head with Germany in their Euro 2020 last 16 match at Wembley.

From Wednesday onwards there will be pockets of rain which will ease, with conditions becoming drier and brighter into next weekend.

Senior meteorologist for the Met Office Steven Keates said: “For the rest of the week it looks as though high pressure will stick around, influencing the weather over much of northern and central Britain and Ireland, but southern England, and particularly the South East, will remain at risk of further showers.

“With a broadly easterly flow, North Sea coasts will often be cooler and sometimes cloudier, with the best of the sunshine and the warmth in the sheltered west.”