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Britain braces for total summer washout!!


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Britain braces for total summer washout as thundery showers drench Wimbledon and Grand Prix


By Eddie Wrenn

Last updated at 10:40 AM on 07th July 2008




The country is heading for a total summer washout with little or no chance of sunshine, forecasters have warned.

A dismal weekend of weather caused disruption to a thrilling Wimbledon final between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal while huge downpours also caused chaos at the British Grand Prix at Silverstone.

As Great British summers go, the rotten weather is hardly breaking tradition.

Piers Corbyn of WeatherAction said: 'The summer as a whole will be in the top five wettest on record - about as bad as last year, which was absolutely terrible.'


Waves battered the coast on Friday evening in Penzance, Cornwall, signalling the start of a wet weekend



article-0-01DE419700000578-997_468x286.jpg Ferrari Formula One driver Kimi Raikkonen of Finland racing in wet conditions during the British F1 Grand Prix at Silverstone on Sunday





Enlarge article-0-01DE392A00000578-272_468x286.jpg Switzerland's Roger Federer leaves the court due to the rain during Sunday's final Wimbledon tennis match

As the first weekend of July landed, the country braced for a wet one as winds, rain and storms moved across Britain, putting ideas of sunbathing on the backburner and hampering a weekend of sport.

The forecast for England and Wales today is frequent heavy showers forcing the Met Office to issue severe weather alerts across parts of northern and south eastern England and a warning that up to 40mm of rain could fall in some parts.


And the outlook for the coming week is for much of the same, with high winds and scattered showers set to dominate the whole country.


Forecaster Jonathan Powell said: 'Whereas we may have a few days of fine weather, there will be no lengthy spells of sunshine or sustained warm temperatures.'

Dave Elliott at the Met Office said: 'Last year was a pretty bad summer. This year we've not had a prolonged warm, dry spell. You have to go back to 2006 for a glorious summer.'

The annual Birdman rally - which sees flying enthusiasts and eccentrics launch themselves skywards before flopping into the sea - fell victim to the storms, and rain stopped play during a thrilling Wimbledon final match between the world's two top tennis players, Federer and Nadal.



The dramatic Wimbledon showdown between Federer and Nadal on Sunday felt the stop-start treatment as rain interfered with play throughout the afternoon.

Federer and Nadal were tied at two sets all and 2-2 in the fifth set when rain forced the players off court at 6.55pm.

Rain had delayed the start of the match by 30 minutes and there was a further 81-minute rain disruption in the third set, with the match resuming play at 8.15pm.

Enlarge article-0-01DE434D00000578-286_468x286.jpg Brollies at Wimbledon: Spectators wait during a rain delay in the finals match between Nadal and Federer



The second day of the annual International Bognor Birdman competition had to be cancelled due to bad weather.


Organisers of the event - held in Worthing, West Sussex, this year due to health and safety concerns with Bognor Regis pier - ruled strong winds and rough sea made it too unsafe to go on.


Enlarge article-0-01DDCEDA00000578-569_468x286.jpg The Birdman competition fell victim to the weather, but it didn't stop the 'just for fun' competitors taking a leap of faith


Enlarge article-0-01DDC0A200000578-646_468x286.jpg

More competitors took to the waves, but no-one was able to compete for the top £30,000 prize


Enlarge article-0-01DDD57D00000578-419_468x286.jpg Wrong form of transport: Competitors tried to see if cars could be made to fly - they couldn't

Competitors attempt to 'fly' from the pier in a series of elaborate contraptions, most of which send them plunging straight down into the sea below.

Saturday's preliminary events were just able to go ahead, with winner Ron 'Geordie Flyer' Freeman achieving a personal best of 85.9 metres.

But Sunday's Condor Class, which is considered the more serious of the two-day event, had to be called off - meaning no-one could compete for the £30,000 prize for anyone who could beat the current record of 89.2 metres to fly more than 100 metres from the pier.

A spokeswoman for Worthing District Council, which was involved in organising the event, said: 'The weather conditions are such that the pier would have to be closed as a matter of public safety.

'Obviously everyone is absolutely gutted.'

The event may be rescheduled for August.

Enlarge article-0-01DE417B00000578-675_468x286.jpg Unseasonable storms batter the coast at Penzance, Cornwall


Enlarge article-0-01DE48A400000578-950_468x322.jpg Spectators at Wimbledon



Northern Ireland and Scotland will be cloudy with scattered showers, heaviest in southern and eastern Scotland.

Tuesday will see sunshine and much more scattered showers for most areas, but central and northern Scotland will see some heavy and thundery showers. On Wednesday, it will be a breezy day with rain moving northeast over most of the UK. The far north of Scotland should stay dry throughout much of the day.

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