The UK is bracing itself for severe weather as various weather warnings have been issued ahead of the Wimbledon finals this weekend. The Met Office has issued a yellow weather warning for wind in large parts of the south of England and South Wales, while Scotland and Northern Ireland face a yellow warning for thunderstorms. The wind warning is in effect from 9 a.m. until midnight on Saturday, while the thunderstorm warning for Scotland and Northern Ireland is in effect from 10 a.m. until 11 p.m.
The forecasted weather conditions have already caused the cancellation of the first day of the Goodwood Festival of Speed, marking the first time in its 30-year history that the event has been canceled. The organisers cited safety concerns due to the high winds and urged people not to travel to the site.
Meteorologist Tom Morgan from the Met Office explained that the UK is experiencing unusually unsettled weather for mid-July. Strong winds are expected across southern areas, with gusts reaching up to 55mph in South Wales and southern parts of England. Thunderstorms are also expected, particularly in Scotland and Northern Ireland, although they are expected to be slower-moving.
With many outdoor events scheduled for the weekend, the Met Office advises the public to stay updated on the weather forecast and allow extra time for journeys as the weather may cause disruptions such as strong winds, thunder, and heavy rain.
The adverse weather conditions have already had an impact on road and rail travel. The M4 in South Wales experienced flooding due to the heavy rain, leading to a 30mph speed limit. Additionally, a village in Wales suffered a landslide, blocking a railway line for the rest of the day.
In light of the weather warnings, Wimbledon organisers have announced the closure of the ticket queue on Saturday. Spectators were advised to dress appropriately and be prepared for the inclement weather. Mr. Morgan highlighted that although there is a risk of showers and thunderstorms during the women’s singles final, the main concern will be the strength of the winds. The winds are expected to be lighter for the men’s singles final on Sunday, although there is still a possibility of showers interrupting the game in the afternoon.
Looking at the broader weather outlook for the UK, Sunday is expected to be less windy but showers are expected in parts of northern England, Scotland, and Northern Ireland, with a risk of thunder. Further south, there will be a mix of sunny spells and showers.
The adverse weather conditions have also impacted other events across the country. The Tolpuddle Martyrs Festival in Dorset had to be cut short due to extreme adverse weather conditions, making it logistically challenging to continue with the festival safely.
Mr. Morgan emphasized the risk of flooding in areas covered by the thunderstorm warning, particularly in Scotland and Northern Ireland where downpours are expected to be prolonged. He urged people to allow themselves extra time for journeys and be aware of the weather situation. Temperatures will be in the high teens or low 20s, which is typical for this time of year.
As the UK faces these challenging weather conditions, the Met Office reassures the public that despite the continued changeable weather in the upcoming week, it will be generally drier compared to the recent days, with less strong winds. However, showers are still expected as low-pressure systems remain in the vicinity.