For weathermen today marks the last day of summer - but instead of being bathed in blazing sunshine and soaring temperatures, Sheffielders have been forced to endure heavy downpours, slate-grey skies, and scores of scuppered events.
Only yesterday the city’s weather station at Weston Park recorded more than 10mm of rain in an hour, around a sixth of the average rainfall for the whole of August.
And motorists had to drive through deep water on Sheffield roads as flash floods created hazardous conditions.
Forecasters believe this summer has been potentially one of the wettest on record.
Adrian Crocker, senior forecaster at British Weather Services, admitted the summer weather had been ‘a bit of a disaster’.
He explained the poor weather has been caused by the jet stream - a fast-flowing air current in the upper atmosphere - being further south than it normally is in summer.
“The weather systems that get picked up are the wrong ones - that’s when you get all the rain and the cold temperatures,” he said.
“This has been a washout summer. It has been one of the wettest summers on a nationwide basis, and it may well turn out to be the wettest summer ever.’’
But Adrian held out the hope of some respite for the start of September.
“The jet stream is going north - it’s almost like the seasons are not conforming to the pattern everybody expects. We’ll see fine weather over the next week, and it’ll become pretty warm.”
Ice cream seller Inglana Cuneo, a partner at Cuneo’s Ice Cream, said summer takings were down significantly this year.
“It’s been really bad,” she said. “We didn’t have a summer last year, we haven’t had one for quite a bit, and this year we’ve not had anything.” Chris Burton, a forecaster from Meteogroup, said there is a chance of further showers today as well as some sunny spells, but temperatures will stay cool, reaching only 15 degrees Celsius. “It’s looking a lot drier from Friday into the weekend, and there should be some dry, sunny days,” Chris said.
Yesterday motorists encountered flooding on Upwell Street, near the junction with Brightside Lane, as well as London Road South between the Wolseley Road and Oak Street junctions. Drivers were also told to take care between the A61 Meadowhead junction and the Bowshaw roundabout because of surface water.
Shirley Hollingworth, aged 55, said her neighbour’s drive on Prince of Wales Road, Darnall, had flooded repeatedly over the past three weeks.
Shirley said they had resorted to using sandbags: “The water’s about a quarter of an inch away from going into their kitchen. Every time it rains a manhole cover comes up and all the water comes out. It’s been terrible.”
The Environment Agency issued flood alerts in Sheffield for the River Sheaf, Porter Brook and their tributaries.
Traffic on roads around St Ann’s Leisure Centre in Rotherham came to a standstill.