Rain glorious rain

Wednesday 08th Jun 2011 by theWeather Club

Gardeners and farmers breathed a sigh of relief on Monday as parts of Britain were deluged by two weeks' worth of rain in just one day. In the bone dry south-east more rain fell in 24 hours than in the whole of March, April and May. Charlwood in Surrey saw over 30.6mm of rain between 10am on Sunday and 10am on Monday – more than the town's entire rainfall for spring. Other parts of the county saw 35.2mm, just short of the 37.2mm of the previous three months.

The break in the weather means the south-east is finally getting the rain many growers have wistfully watched falling in the north-west for much of 2011. The average rainfall expected in the south-east of England during June is 56mm, meaning that parts of England have received more than half their monthly average over one 24-hour period.

However, East Anglia – which has experienced a record-breaking dry spring – remained much less wet. Met Office spokesman Barry Gromett said: "There was quite a bit of warm air coming off the Continent. Low pressure that mixed with cold air coming down from the north caused very heavy storms over France, the Netherlands and Germany on Saturday. Those storms progressed across the North Sea and into south-east England."

He added: "Most of the rainfall fell in and around London." More unsettled weather is forecast for the rest of the week, although the heaviest rainfall has probably passed. "I think it is sunshine and showers for the rest of the week," Gromett said. "The further east you are, the lighter these showers will be, with some reasonable sunny spells in between the heavy showers."

However, weathermen have warned that the recent downpour – following as it has the second driest spring in 100 years – was not enough to replenish soil and prevent the threat of a over the summer drought. A spokesperson for the Environment Agency told reporters: "To get out of where we are now, we would need some substantial rain for a prolonged period. In the medium term, forecasts are for a return to the dry conditions after this wet spell."

Last month saw Britain split, with the north-west enduring a wet month but the south-east getting almost no rain. It was the third wettest month for Scotland since 1910, but one of the driest for Essex and Kent.