UK weather: Wind and rain hit first post-lockdown weekend – but sunshine is on way


The re-opening of indoor spaces to groups has been well-timed as Brits are set to be ravaged by fierce winds and relentless rain this weekend.

On the first Friday that people can meet up in large spaces outdoors as well as in smaller groups inside the miserable May weather will continue to batter the country.

A severe weather warning for wind remains in force for huge swathes of the south and south west of England as well as parts of Wales until tonight.

And across the whole of the country there will be more torrential downpours but drier and warmer conditions expected by Sunday with sunny spells forecast for Tuesday.

Met Office meteorologist Aidan McGivern has described the outlook across the nation as a “showery situation” on Friday and Saturday, with drier weather on the horizon by Sunday.



A boat in the water
Strong winds are also forecast with a severe weather warning in place

A yellow weather warning for wind which could cause travel disruption is in place for the south of England and most of Wales until 9pm on Friday, with 60mph gusts expected on the coast.

Mr McGivern said Friday promises rain and wind for all parts of the nation.

He said: “It’s going to be a wet and windy start for many on Friday morning.

“The heaviest rain will be in north-west England, parts of Wales, and then increasingly the South West, the Midlands and the rain reaching the South East by the end of the afternoon as a showery situation develops.



A car drives through a flooded road
Up to 100mm will fall in some areas

“Eastern Scotland as well as north-east England stays dull and damp throughout much of the day – and with the wind in the North East it’s going to feel raw.”

Forecasters have predicted up to 100mm of rainfall on higher ground in Wales.

Daytime temperatures are set to be low for the time of year, with the mercury expected to rise to around 14C London, and 12C in Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast.

Night-time temperatures are predicted to sit around the mid-single figures.



Weather warning map for wind
The weather warning is in force until tonight

A blustery night with hill snow on the mountains in Scotland is due to follow into Saturday, with more wind and rain across the board to follow.

Sunday is set to be slightly more promising, with showers again expected across the nation but longer dry, bright spells moving in.

Forecasters have said northern Scotland and Northern Ireland are likely to see the best of the sunshine on Sunday.

UK Weather Forecast

Today:

Windy and mostly cloudy with spells of rain, heavy at times. Feeling on the cold side in the wind and rain, especially in the northeast. Windiest conditions today over southern UK where blustery and gusty with coastal gales.

Tonight:

Further spells of rain this evening, heavy at times, but overnight rain will gradually fade and become mostly confined to eastern UK. Winds will also begin to ease.

Saturday:

Rather cloudy at first but brightening up from the west with scattered showers from late morning. Windy in the far east at first, but less windy, and warmer, than today.

Outlook for Sunday to Tuesday:

Mostly dry start Sunday, with spell of locally heavy rain spreading eastwards later. Rain for parts of Scotland Monday, sunshine and heavy showers elsewhere. Sunny spells and isolated showers Tuesday.



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Storms hit southern Queensland bringing hail, spectacular lightning and heavy rain


Parts of southern Queensland have been pelted with hail overnight by fast-moving storms that brought up to 60 millimetres of rain in an hour.

A number of severe storms formed west of Brisbane about 7:00pm, hitting Toowoomba, north of Warwick and Allora as they quickly moved towards the coast.

The Bureau of Metereology (BOM) said large hail was reported about 7:30pm at Wellcamp, near Toowoomba, and later at Helidon in the Lockyer Valley, and the Southern Downs.

“[It was] certainly packing a punch,” forecaster Kimba Wong said.

The storms moved too quickly to deliver much rain to most areas, with the exception of Mt Mowbullan, between Toowoomba and Kingaroy, which received about 92mm.

Further south, in the Lockyer Valley, 83mm fell at Forest Hill in an hour.

“Once that storm moved through and dropped that large hail it sort of stalled over the Lockyer Valley and started dropping rainfall instead of hail,” Ms Wong said.

The storms headed towards Brisbane and the bayside about 2:00am.

The heaviest rain fell in Wynnum, about 50mm, whereas the northern and southern suburbs only got up to 15mm.

“So quite a strong contrast there,” Ms Wong said.

Ms Wong said storms moved over the Gold Coast with some isolated pockets getting more than 50mm.

Energex said the storms generated 193,000 lightning strikes across south-east Queensland.

About 10,900 Energex customers lost power, including nearly 5,000 in the Lockyer Valley.

Hundreds of properties remained without power this morning.

In the South Burnett, Kingaroy resident Ross Riethmuller avoided the hail but had 105mm of rain in his gauge this morning.

“The gutters couldn’t take it. I found a couple of leaks around the roof,” he said.

He said the downpour was the heaviest he had experienced in more than four years and expected local graziers to get flows into their dams.

Ms Wong said more showers and storms are forecast for south-east Queensland and Brisbane this afternoon, with the chance of severe cells.

“I think that storm activity will sort of ramp up as we head thorough the afternoon period,” Ms Wong said.

“There is indications in the modelling of squalls coming through during the late afternoon early/evening period, particularly the northern suburbs and Sunshine Coast.”

A severe thunderstorm warning is also in place for the Darling Downs and Granite Belt.

“Today is another day where we may see the risk of large hail with any severe thunderstorms that do develop,” Ms Wong said.

Storm activity is expected to ease from Thursday when a trough and upper trough are likely to move offshore during the morning.

A ridge of high pressure will strengthen across the state in their wake, with mostly sunny conditions almost statewide.

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Hail, rain to hit Melbourne in cold snap



Melburnians can expect to hunker down indoors for the next few days as the city braces for constant rainfall and hail over a “wintry” weekend.

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Severe storm warning issued as large hail, heavy rain threat looms


The weather bureau has issued a severe storm warning for Queensland’s south-eastern corner with four storm cells moving through the area on Wednesday afternoon.

As much as 100 millimetres of rain and large hail were forecast from the state’s south-east and up to Rockhampton, with inland areas battered overnight by hail the size of golf balls.

The Queensland severe storm map, issued early on Wednesday afternoon.

The Queensland severe storm map, issued early on Wednesday afternoon.Credit:Bureau of Meteorology

The bureau warned of severe storm cells near Jandowae, north-west of Toowoomba, Tipton, west of Toowoomba, and Mount Beerwah, between Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast.

The cells were moving east and the weather bureau said they were “likely” to bring damaging winds, large hailstones and heavy rainfall that may lead to flash flooding.

Earlier in the day, the Bureau of Meteorology predicted storms to hit areas including Brisbane, the Gold Coast, Wide Bay and up to the Sarina region, north of Rockhampton.

At 11am, the Bureau said thunderstorms were possible from the west of the Darling Downs up to Bamaga in the north of the state, while severe thunderstorms were likely for the south-east region.

Meteorologist Shane Kennedy said rainfall totals up to 100 millimetres were possible, but more widely about five to 20 millimetres. Brisbane was predicted to receive up to 40 millimetres.

“We’re likely to see severe thunderstorms all through south-east extending up to the north of Rockhampton,” Mr Kennedy said.

“So large hail, damaging winds, and even flash flooding.”

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Beef industry rides high on good prices and rain as it steps up its sustainability credentials


Worth more than $20 billion, there’s no question the beef industry is big business in Australia, but can it also be a sustainable one?

At Beef Australia 2021 in Rockhampton, central Queensland, there’s a focus on the technology and production systems to do that. 

Launching the Beef Sustainability Report for 2021, the fourth annual report compiled by the Sustainability Steering Group, chairwoman Tess Herbert said tracking public sentiment remained a challenge.

The report aims to highlight improvements required to maintain market share and the sector’s social licence.

It identified animal welfare, economic resilience, environmental issues and maintaining a safe and healthy workforce as the key sustainability concerns.

The report found improvements in the percentage of farmers using pain relief systems in animal husbandry, compliance with live export regulations and awareness of welfare systems for cattle.

On the environment, the percentage of cattle lands set aside for conservation increased but trends in ground cover, deforestation and conservation management of grazing country were not quantified by the report.

The former president of the Australian Lot Feeders Association, Ms Herbert, said attitudes to transparency and adapting to changes in community expectations were changing.

“We have an industry-wide change in perspective that we need to be more connected to the consumer and listening to what the consumer is asking,” Mrs Herbert said.

She said increasing supply-chain value to ensure all parts of the sector were profitable was also a challenge for industry, even in a time of record cattle prices.

The report showed declines in farm productivity and a distinct difference in profitability between the top quarter of producers versus the rest, something Mrs Herbert said requires attention.

“We need to become more and more efficient and produce more from less, through technology and research and development, that will become more important to producers,” she said.

Meat and Livestock Australia, the industry’s marketing, research and development body, has pledged to be carbon neutral by 2030.

Launched in 2017, managing director Jason Strong said the CN2030 program was critical to securing the industry’s reputation as a global leader in sustainable food production but would require new technology and farm practices. 

David Foote, managing director of Australian Country Choice, one of Australia’s largest vertically integrated beef supply chains, said producers needed to embrace sustainability, even if it’s forced upon them.

“Significant customers in the beef industry have made commitments that are requiring that (carbon neutrality) earlier.

“So potentially we’re going to have supply chain pressure that’s going to ask us to do things faster than we would normally do, so it’s about embracing it and how to make it fit. 

Stockyard Beef marketing executive Ally Hart said the public perception of beef needed to be crafted through better public accountability by the cattle industry.

“They want to see you’re walking the talk on sustainability practices,” she said.

“Anything from introducing poll genes, pain relief and how much renewable energy can we use?”

Ms Hart said the industry’s carbon-neutral aim by 2030 still loomed as a steep challenge, despite a reduction in carbon emissions of 51.46 per cent on 2005 levels.

Beef Australia 2021 is the largest exhibition of cattle in the southern hemisphere, and more than 35,000 people streamed through the gates on People’s Day.

Chairman Bryce Camm said the event aimed to educate people about the work the industry is doing on issues like animal welfare and the environment. 

“It’s not about being ashamed or embarrassed about anything around those confrontational topics, It’s really being forthright and opening the discussion,” he said. 

“That’s something that the Australian Beef industry has always done quite well, to have the conversation with the wider community and ourselves as an industry.

“To really look at what we are doing and where we can advance and improve.”

Beef Australia runs until Saturday, May 8.

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Line of Duty’s Martin Compston says no rain will stand in way of pub pint as he celebrates 37th birthday


Scots actor Martin Compston is celebrating his birthday today and says no rain will stand in the way of having a celebratory pint.

The Line of Duty star turned 37 today and as he is currently working in Edinburgh, it looks like he will need a brolly to sip on his birthday pint as the forecast is for rain for most of the day and drinking indoors is still not permitted.

But the star didn’t let the weather rain on his parade as he took to Twitter to thank fans for their kind messages.

Compston, from Greenock, also shares his birthday with Line of Duty co-star Vicky McClure, and made sure he gave his ‘mate’ a mention too as she celebrates her 38th birthday.

He wrote: “Massive thanks for all the lovely birthday msgs really appreciated!!!No rain shall stand in the way of a pub pint today. Also the biggest of birthday love to the greatest partner in all of telly land, have a blinder mate @Vicky_McClure xx.”

One fan wrote: “Enjoy that pint!”

Another said: “Happy Birthday to TV’s finest Detectives.”



Martin Compston and Vicky McClure share the same birthday

Outlander actor Richard Rankin said: “Happy Birthday you pair of legends!! Is it the same day??”



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Another wrote: “Ah the best duo to share a birthday with! Legends.”

One commented: “iconic mates, on and off screen.”

While one added: “Happy Birthday to you both @martin_compston and @Vicky_McClure and thank you for keeping us entertained with your incredible acting abilities and for giving us something to look forward to each week. Shame it had to end. Hope the rain stops for u.”

And today seems to be a common birthday in celeb land as Sir David Attenborough turns 95, and ‘H’ (not Detective Superintendant Ian Buckells) from pop group Steps turns 45.

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BOM forecasts rain and storms for Brisbane and southern Queensland, falling temperatures in the north


Rain is continuing to fall along the south-east Queensland coast from south of Fraser Island to the border, in the wake of late-night storms that brought heavy downpours to Boonah and Logan.

Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) forecaster James Thompson said overnight storm activity was severe.

“Fifty-one millimetres [of rain] in half an hour overnight at Forestdale [in Logan] and then also some severe storms this morning out towards Oakey and Dalby as well,” Mr Thompson said.

“Pretty active weather pattern today, but becoming much more stable through tomorrow.”

Mr Thompson said today would be “sort of like a Melbourne storm day where we could get hail”.

He said it was due to a “really cold air mass” above the region.

Mr Thompson said the storm threat had temporarily eased by about 7:30am, but that storms could redevelop.

The risk of hail was highest in the Darling Downs and Granite Belt, and also in Wide Bay and the Burnett regions.

Wivenhoe Dam, the region’s largest water storage, received just 5mm of rain overnight. It’s currently at 41.4 per cent of capacity. 

Thunderstorm activity is expected to clear across the state by tomorrow.

The weather bureau said some showers were still possible into Thursday for the south-east coast.

Mr Thompson said cool and dry conditions were forecast to spread across the interior, southern and central parts of the state with the coolest mornings yet to come for the tropics.

“Some towns may reach their lowest minimum of the year so far, especially across the central and tropical coasts, with Mackay forecast to dip below 15 degrees [Celsius], and Cairns forecast to dip below 19 degrees Friday morning,” he said.

Meteorologist Pieter Claassen said overnight a large amount of small hail fell in the Boonah area, west of the Gold Coast, along with 40 millimetres of rain in half an hour.

In the drought-declared South Burnett Region, Nanango dairy farmer Illya Childs received 40mm in just a few hours.

“It really belted down, but it’s good rain and we didn’t expect it at all either,” he said.

“We were expecting maybe 2mm or something.

“The way it has been the last few years, any rain is unusual.”

Mr Child’s family-owned dairy farm has struggled through years of drought, and this downpour was the first dam-filling rain to fall in several years.

“We’ve had such a rainfall deficit over the last few years that we need a real good season to get the creek running into the bores again,” he said.

“We’re just starting to plough for the winter crop, and this makes it look real good.”

Near Crows Nest on the Darling Downs, Bruce Woolley said his property received 18mm of “desperately needed” rain.

“We woke up about six o’clock this morning to some thunder and lightning,” he said.

“There was a lot of hail at the time and when I looked at the tanks they were actually overflowing, not because they were full but because the water was coming down at such a rate that it couldn’t flow into the tanks easily enough.”

He said there had been no damage from the hail and he was making the most of the weather.

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Victoria to be hit with rain, possible thunderstorms, strong winds after sunny Melbourne weekend


Following a pleasant, sunny weekend, Victorians are bracing themselves, with rain, possible thunderstorms and strong winds on the way.

From Monday night, showers are expected to develop with 20mm to 40mm of rainfall in the north east ranges, but those falls could be higher if thunderstorms develop.

Diana Eadie from the Bureau of Meteorology said it would be a wet few days for large parts of the state.

In Melbourne, the north and western suburbs are the most likely to experience the strong winds.

After a pleasant, sunny weekend ends, there is now rain, possible thunderstorms and strong winds on the way for Victoria. Credit: JAMES ROSS/AAPIMAGE

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Flooding rain lashes Far North Queensland, prompting dozens of emergency calls


Heavy rain is continuing to lash parts of Far North Queensland with emergency services attending dozens of jobs overnight.

The weather bureau has issued a flood watch between Cooktown and Ingham as a trough off the coast continues to dump hundreds of millimetres of rain in the region.

Cairns has received more than half-a-metre of rain over the past three days — including 200mm overnight — while areas to the south, around Innisfail, have received nearly a metre this week.

Weather forecaster Shane Kennedy said the region was in for even more wet weather today.

“You could once again see 50 to 150mm and even some places exceeding 200mm,” Mr Kennedy said.

“Certainly it is a part of the world that is used to a lot of rain.

The wet weather is playing havoc with the roads and the Bruce Highway was temporarily cclosed between Cardwell and Ingham.

The Gillies Highway that links Cairns to the Atherton Tablelands also closed this morning due to flooding.

SES area controller Peter Rinaudo said there had been more than 50 jobs over the last couple of days, including ten overnight.

“Mostly to do with flooding, people getting water into the house in some way including through the roof,” Mr Rinaudo said.

He asked home owners to do what they could in order to help themselves, including making sure gutters and drains were clear of debris.

Cairns Regional Council deputy mayor Terry James urged residents to take care on the roads. 

“Because of the amount of rain the ground is soaked, and in particular the road bases are soaked, which is when we get pot holes which can do a lot of damage to cars,” Cr James said.

“We urge people to drive to the conditions, don’t drive through flooded roads, slow down and drive to the conditions.”

Minor flood warnings are in place for several rivers in the region, including the Mulgrave and Russell Rivers.

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Rain drenches parts of Far North Queensland, with more forecast later this week


Roads have been cut and rivers have burst their banks in parts of Far North Queensland, as heavy rain continues to drench the region.

The highest rainfall was recorded in the Whyanbeel Valley, north of Port Douglas, where 280 millimetres of rain fell in the 24 hours to 9:00am.

Cairns Airport weather station has recorded more than 200 millimetres of rain, and further south at the Babinda Boulders more than 240 millimetres has fallen.

Bureau of Meteorology meteorologist Peter Markworth said heavy rain was expected to continue across the tropical north coast today.

“Rainfall totals between 100 to 150 millimetres are likely, with heavier totals up to 300 millimetres still possible,” Mr Markworth said.

The Gillies Range, a main arterial link between the Atherton Tablelands and the coast, has been closed due to flooding.

The deluge has prompted Cairns Regional Council to close some parks, campgrounds and roads across the region.

Cairns Local Disaster Management Group chair councillor Terry James urged residents to be wary of flash-flooding and fast-moving water.

“Fast-flowing water can be dangerous, and the quality of water can deteriorate during heavy rainfall,” Cr James said.

“Residents, especially children, playing in or near flood waters, can be quickly swept away, be injured by debris or drown if they become trapped.”

The bureau is warning other parts of north Queensland could receive rain later this week.

“In the coming days, we do expect a second focal point, albeit slightly less rainfall, further inland of the north tropical coast along the inland peninsula and inland of Townsville,” Mr Markworth said.

“We’re also expecting a cloud band to form which will bring moderate falls to parts of Townsville, Bowen and Mackay coastlines.”

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