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Get used to more extreme weather
WEATHER experts are warn ing extreme downpours and flooding will become more common over the next few years.
The Met Office says people should brace themselves for more freak weather after Saturday’s rain turned roads into rivers and forced people to evacuate their homes.
A month’s rainfall fell in an hour, leaving parts of south Essex suffering the second wettest day since records began in the 1890s.
Meteorologists from the Met Office believe extreme rainfall is occuring more often because warmer air can hold more water.
This could be the direct result of global warming, although research is still being carried out. Helen Chivers, Met Office forecaster, said: “Early indications show extreme weather events such as this are happening more than they were in the past.
“For example, in the Sixties we would expect torrential rain such as this once every 100 days – now it is more like once in every 75 days.
“We think that probably it is because a warmer atmosphere can hold more moisture.”
On Saturday about 40mm – or one month’s worth of rain – fell between 3pm and 4pm.
On parts of Canvey, between 75mm and 100mm – three to four inches – fell in 24 hours.
The Met Office released a severe weather warning for much of England and Wales 48 hours before.
Ms Chivers added: “The weather was caused by an area of low pressure which developed over France on Friday night and Saturday.
“It w a s the culmination of that and a system that moved in from the Atlantic.”
According to Met Office experts, the forecast for the rest of the week is dry, with some rain towards the weekend.
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