London soaked by nearly a month of rainfall in a week

Spectators shelter from heavy rain as they sit on the steps to The Hill at Wimbledon (Getty Images)
Spectators shelter from heavy rain as they sit on the steps to The Hill at Wimbledon (Getty Images)

London has been hit by nearly a month’s worth of rainfall in a week, new figures show.

Met Office data shows that the capital experienced 86 per cent of its average July rainfall in the first eight days of the month.

The figures come as a yellow weather warning was extended for parts of the UK.

The thunderstorm warning, previously covering Wales and parts of western England, now includes nearly all of northern England as lightning is expected to accompany downpours into the early hours of Wednesday morning.

At the same time, a rain warning is in place for northern Scotland ahead of showers of up to 90mm.

The thunderstorm warning in England includes Manchester, York and Newcastle upon Tyne.

Met Office forecaster Greg Dewhurst told the Telegraph that the dreary spell had been caused by the positioning of a fast, narrow current of air flowing from west to east.

He said: “The jet stream drives low-pressure systems across the country.

“Over the past five weeks or so, it has been sitting across the northern parts of Spain, France and Germany.

“Areas north of the jet stream will typically be cooler with more unsettled weather.”

Figures released on Tuesday showed that poor weather in June had caused a spending slump, with total retail sales down by 0.2 per cent on the year before.

Sales of weather-sensitive categories such as clothing and footwear, as well as DIY and gardening, were hit particularly hard, especially compared with the surge in spending during last June’s heatwave.

The boss of Wimbledon blamed “terrible” weather for low attendances at the Championships.

Wimbledon organisers said they are confident the tournament will finish on time despite the wet forecast and delays to play at the weekend due to heavy rain.

Speaking to reporters on Monday, chief executive of the All England Club, Sally Bolton, said: “The weather has been so terrible that perseverance in the queue has been even greater this year than it ordinarily is.”

“We’re never about maximising our attendances, we’re all about protecting the queue and making sure that we have still got that accessibility, accepting that as a result of that was some variability on the numbers that we will end up achieving.”