Heavy downpours in Sheffield as rain settles in for weeks

Umbrellas in the rain
Umbrellas in the rain
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SHEFFIELDERS will have to keep their umbrellas and raincoats to hand for some time yet - as forecasters have again predicted the wet weather is set to last until at least mid-May.

Heavy downpours have now settled in across South Yorkshire, and the city was drenched yesterday as a band of heavy rain spread north.

Forecasters have warned there is more to come for the rest of this week, with a risk of some localised flooding.

But the rain still won’t be enough to end the county’s drought, according to the Environment Agency, which says the region’s rivers are suffering the effects of two years of below-average rainfall.

Chris Burton, a forecaster at Meteogroup, said there will be heavy showers today, with a chance of isolated thunderstorms, while tomorrow will be ‘another showery day’.

Saturday will be cloudy with patchy rain, and Sunday is set to be a washout with more torrential downpours.

“A band of quite heavy rain will spread up from the south throughout the day,” Chris said.

Temperatures will reach 13 degrees Celsius tomorrow and Friday, dipping to 12 degrees at the weekend.

“It’ll be unsettled into the start of next week,” Chris said.

Trevor Bishop, head of water resources at the Environment Agency, said it would ‘take more than a week or two of rain’ to undo the effects of below-average rainfall.

“The recent rain is good for farmers and gardeners, and the cool temperatures ease the pressure on fish and wildlife in rivers,” he said.

“But with dry soils most of the rain will be soaked up - or, worse still, run off quickly if the surface is compacted, causing flash floods.”

Chris explained that the continual rain is being caused by a low pressure system lingering over the UK.

“It looks like it’ll carry on into May. There’s a low pressure system coming in from the Atlantic,” Chris said.

“It’s looking like the rainfall this month will be above average. With the heavy showers you have got a chance of localised flooding, but river levels are low so you’d need a lot more rain to have a widespread flooding problem.”