Heavy rain over weekend 6 to 7 June 2009

8 June 2009

Background

Saturday 6 June 2009

A band of heavy rain became established across south-east Wales, the south and east Midlands and across to northern England overnight into Saturday morning (see 0700 analysis chart). During the morning thunderstorms and torrential rain broke out over the Exeter area, with 27.2 mm recorded in one hour (0900 observation). The intense thunderstorm can be seen on the 0900 radar image. During the rest of the morning and into the afternoon heavy and thundery rain also developed across parts of south Wales and the south-west Midlands. The heaviest and most torrential rain affected the south Wales valleys and Devon, with 93 mm of rain recorded at Exeter between 0700 and 2000.

Analysis chart valid 0700 Sat 6 June 2009. Radar 0900 Sat 6 June
Analysis chart valid 0700 Sat 6 June 2009. Radar 0900 Sat 6 June.

Sunday 7 June 2009

The heavy and thundery rain from Saturday spread further east overnight, reaching south east England and the London area by dawn on Sunday (see radar 0530 Sun 7 June). Localised flooding was reported from the London area, along with reports of lightning strikes. The band of heavy rain moved slowly north over the course of the day, and by the end of the afternoon the heaviest rain was affecting north Wales, the north Midlands and Lincolnshire. To the south of the main rain band conditions brightened up, but some thundery showers then broke out in inland southern parts. There were also various reports of funnel cloud formations and a tornado was reported near Hadleigh, Suffolk (see photo). During the evening the main rain band weakened, and the thundery showers in the south slowly died out.

Radar 0530 Sun 7 June

Photo of a tornado Sun 7 June, taken at Hadleigh, Suffolk Photo of a tornado Sun 7 June, taken at Hadleigh, Suffolk.

Radar 0530 Sun 7 June.

Impacts

The heavy rain spread north into south-west England during the early hours of Saturday morning with thunderstorms and torrential rain affecting parts of Devon in particular. Houses were struck by lightning in Exeter and Tiverton and flooding was reported on a number of roads in the area. The very heavy rain persisted for much of the day and also edged into parts of Wales bringing some flooding to parts of Cardiff and the south Wales valleys. Up to 100 homes were evacuated in parts of Rhondda Cynon Taff and also the Caerphilly area as culverts became blocked due to the torrential rain. Further north in Wales a fell race in Snowdonia was abandoned due to the very poor weather.

The very heavy rain continued overnight and also began to affect parts of the West Country and south-east England with reports of lightning strikes at a camp site in Dorset and a block of flats in Wembley.

Most of the issues with flooding appear to be the intensity of the rainfall overwhelming drainage systems. With a good deal of dry weather preceding the rain, there was plenty of capacity in the rivers and hence there were very few issues with rivers flooding.

Storms and torrential rain in the West Country on Saturday (Western Morning News)

Flooding in south Wales on Saturday afternoon (BBC News, Wales)

Snowdonia fell race was abandoned on Saturday due to the bad weather (BBC News, Wales)

Lightning strikes in Dorset on Saturday night caused a campsite blaze (BBC News, England)

Heavy rain and lightning strikes in London on Sunday morning caused damage to a block of flats in Wembley (BBC News, UK)

Tornado seen moving over Suffolk (BBC News, England)

As the rain band moved north on Sunday afternoon a flood warning was issued for Nottinghamshire.

Weather data

Exeter recorded 27.2 mm in one hour between 0800 and 0900 on the 6th during a thunderstorm in the area. A total of 93 mm was recorded at Exeter between 0700 and 2000 on the 6th.

Rainfall totals from 1000 on 5 June to 2200 on 7 June
Liscombe 76.2 mm
St Athan 65.8 mm
Nottingham, Watnall 52.8 mm
Sutton Bonington 44.4 mm
Winterbourne, University of Birmingham 42 mm
Edgbaston 37 mm
London Weather Centre 23.2 mm

Please note that all values and statements are provisional and subject to change.

Contact information

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Last updated: 11 February 2013