Chaos as two weeks of rain falls in hours
DOWNPOURS and flooding turned celebrations for the Queen’s 90th birthday into a washout yesterday.
Torrential rain forced the cancellation of the first day of the Royal Windsor Horse Show, which chimes with Her Majesty’s love of riding.
About 10,000 visitors had been expected at the prestigious event but waterlogged car parks saw them turned away in droves.
It is believed to be the first time in the equestrian show’s 66-year history that a day has been cancelled.
Organisers hope an improvement in the weather will allow the remaining four days to go ahead, with a mass parade of horses scheduled for today in Windsor Castle’s grounds.
Almost half a month’s worth of rain fell in areas of southern England during the early part of yesterday, triggering floods and travel chaos.
Railway services in London were disrupted and heavy rush-hour traffic ground to a sodden standstill.
Some areas were drenched by 1.2in (30mm) of rain, with an inch (23mm) watering London’s worldfamous Kew Gardens in six hours.
The A20 in Lewisham, in the capital’s south-east, was closed after it became impassable, forcing motorists to seek alternative routes.
Several drivers were left stranded as gushing floodwater engulfed their cars while emergency crews struggled to pump water away. The rain was forecast to die down overnight with the outlook for the next two days warmer and drier.
Highs of 71.6F (22C) are forecast in the South with thermometers in the North hovering around the 62.6F (17C) mark.
While the South bore the brunt yesterday, Scotland and the North enjoyed sunshine and temperatures of 72F (20C).
However forecasters warn change is afoot across the whole country – just in time to spoil the weekend.
Sun-lovers are braced for a dramatic change from last week, which saw the hottest May temperatures for four years.
The mercury will struggle to get much higher than around 59F (15C) with even the exposed parts.
The Met Office said the outlook for the coming few days is for more showers and cooler temperatures before cold winds send thermometers nosediving.
Forecaster Emma Sharples said: “There will be a few showers around with temperatures around four or five degrees up.
“However it will feel misty and murky, especially around the coasts, before a cooler airflow arrives late today and into tomorrow.
“There will be quite a marked change on last weekend with everywhere feeling cooler.
“There could also be the odd air frost which could catch gardeners chance of frost in much out. This weekend will be cooler than last weekend.”
Leon Brown, forecaster for the Weather Company, warned there could even be snow over high ground in the far north.
He said: “Temperatures on Saturday and Sunday morning will drop close to freezing with a touch of air frost for northern Britain and ground or grass frosts over the South.
“Gardeners should beware cover sensitive plants.
“It will feel quite cool everywhere and there will even be a dusting of snow again over the tops of the Scottish Highlands due to a few wintry showers moving south.
“Central and southern Britain will stay dry with sunny spells.” and