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UK weather: Amber warning for heavy rain issued with ‘danger to life’ alert | UK News

Heavy rain could spark travel disruption across much of the UK, with a warning that flooding in some places could cause “danger to life”.

The Met Office has issued an amber warning for rain across parts of north Wales and northwest England, including Manchester and Liverpool, for 24 hours from midday on Wednesday.

Fast-flowing or deep floodwater is “likely”, according to the forecaster, and a good chance some communities could become cut off, suffer power cuts and see train and bus services cancelled.

A yellow warning for rain covers the north of England, the Midlands and north and central Wales until 6am on Thursday, while another is in place for southern and eastern Scotland from midday today until 6pm tomorrow.

Much of the south coast is likely to see lightning, with a yellow warning for thunderstorms in place from 8am until 7pm on Wednesday.

Get the five-day forecast where you are here

The amber warning. Pic: Met Office
Image:
An amber warning for rain lasts 24 hours from midday on Wednesday. Pic: Met Office

There are warnings for most of the UK. Pic: Met Office
Image:
There are weather warnings for most of the UK. Pic: Met Office

“Some areas are really going to see a lot of heavy, persistent rain through a big chunk of Wednesday,” Met Office meteorologist Alex Burkill said.

“It is going to be a pretty wet picture as we go through the rest of the week for many places.

“There is some uncertainty as to exactly where we are going to see the heaviest rain and where is most likely to be impacted.”

Many places could see 30-40mm of rain, while a few areas may receive 60-80mm as heavy downpours move northwards throughout Wednesday.

There is even a small chance a few upland areas could see up to 150mm, according to the forecaster.

Scientists have said downpours in the storms that battered the UK and Ireland last autumn and winter were made around 20% heavier by climate change.

A warmer atmosphere holds more water vapour, a key factor in climate change driving heavier rainfall.

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Chief meteorologist Andy Page said areas exposed to strengthening northerly winds are most likely to see the highest rainfall.

Northern areas are expected to remain cloudy and wet on Thursday, but southern parts can expect drier conditions, with sunshine becoming more widespread by the end of the week.

The news is better for bank holiday Monday, which is expected to be dry for much of the country, feeling warm in the sunshine.

Amber Gibson: Man jailed for raping teenager five months before she was murdered by her brother | UK News

A man who raped a teenager five months before she was murdered by her brother has been jailed for 10 years and six months.

Jamie Starrs, 20, assaulted Amber Gibson and raped her while she was asleep or unconscious at a property in Bothwell, South Lanarkshire, in June 2021.

Amber, 16, was sexually assaulted and murdered in November 2021 by her brother, Connor Gibson, who was convicted last month following a trial at the High Court in Glasgow.

Starrs was found guilty of raping the teenager following a separate trial at the High Court in Lanark in July.

He was also convicted of raping another teenage girl in Bothwell in May 2021.

Judge Thomas Welsh KC handed Starrs an extended sentence comprising 10 and a half years in custody and two years of supervision upon release at the High Court in Edinburgh on Tuesday.

Sentencing Starrs, who appeared via video link from custody, the judge said: “You have been convicted of appalling crimes against two innocent teenage girls and you have been assessed as being of very high risk of sexual violence on release.

“I am required to take into account your age and difficult upbringing. However, the crimes remain serious and grave, and I will impose an extended sentence.”

He said that he would have ordered 11 years to be served in custody but reduced this to 10 and a half years behind bars to take into account the time that Starrs has spent on remand.

Starrs was also found guilty of a breach of bail conditions, and of attempting to pervert the course of justice.

He has been placed on the sex offenders’ register indefinitely.

Giving a plea in mitigation, Michael Meehan KC, representing Starrs, highlighted that as he is under 25 the sentence must take into account sentencing guidelines which reflect that a younger person will have a lower level of maturity than an older person.

Read more:
The guidelines for sentencing under-25s in Scotland
Amber Gibson murder: Independent care review set to be concluded

He said a report identified that Starrs shows “cognitive and emotional immaturity”.

The lawyer had also urged the judge to consider his client’s adverse childhood experiences when sentencing.

He told the court that Starrs was removed from parental care at the age of three and developed addiction issues from the age of nine.

Mr Meehan said: “He has a traumatic background from a young age which perhaps gives some degree of explanation.”

Pic: Police Scotland
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Connor Gibson murdered Amber. Pic: Police Scotland

The sentencing comes a fortnight after Connor Gibson, 20, was convicted of attacking his sister Amber in woodland in Hamilton, South Lanarkshire, in November 2021, removing her clothes, sexually assaulting with the intention of raping her, inflicting blunt force trauma to her head and body, and strangling her.

Amber was reported missing on the evening of Friday 26 November and her body was discovered in Cadzow Glen at about 10.10am on 28 November.

Stephen Corrigan, 45, was found guilty of attempting to defeat the ends of justice and breach of the peace by intimately touching and concealing Amber’s body after discovering it, instead of contacting the emergency services.

Gibson will be sentenced on 4 September for a crime Judge Lord Mulholland described as “depraved”, while Corrigan will also be sentenced next month.

Wildfire risk raised to ‘exceptional’ – the highest it can be – as four day amber alert begins | UK News

The risk of fires from tinderbox dry conditions across parts of England and Wales has been raised to “exceptional” – the highest it can be – as a four-day amber weather warning comes into force.

The top level on the Fire Severity Index applies to much of southern England, and reaches as far west as Abergavenny in Wales, for this coming Sunday.

The Met Office has issued an amber heat warning running between Thursday and Sunday, which could see temperatures peak at 36C across this stretch.

South East, Southern and Welsh Water have all announced hosepipe bans for customers in areas they supply.

And Thames Water has signalled it will also introduce a ban in the coming weeks as the hot, parched summer continues to take its toll.

There have also been repeated warnings about the impact on agriculture, rivers and wildlife.

Fire Severity index is set to peak on Sunday Pic: Met Office
Image:
Fire Severity index is set to peak on Sunday Pic: Met Office

Read more: What are the rules on hosepipe bans, what are the exemptions and what do they mean?

Amber warning, what to expect:

Adverse health effects are likely to be experienced by those vulnerable to extreme heat

The wider population is likely to experience some adverse health effects including sunburn or heat exhaustion (dehydration, nausea, fatigue) and other heat related illnesses

Some changes in working practices and daily routines, likely to be required

An increased chance that some heat-sensitive systems and equipment may fail

More people are likely to visit coastal areas, lakes, rivers and other beauty spots, leading to an increased risk of water safety and fire-related incidents

Some delays to road, rail and air travel are possible, with potential for welfare issues for those who experience prolonged delays

Met Office meteorologist Marco Petagna said: “The risk (of fires) is very high across much of central, southern and eastern England.

“Going into Friday and the weekend, it starts to increase further, going into the highest category of exceptional risk.”

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The UK braces for the next stifling few days

Worst summer for fires in three decades

Mark Hardingham, the chairman of the National Fire Chiefs Council, told The Telegraph he “can’t remember a summer like this” in his entire 32-year career.

He said: “We’re not going to see temperatures as hot as we saw three weeks ago, but that doesn’t matter because the ground couldn’t get any drier than it already is.”

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There is also a heat health alert in place from the UK Health Security Agency, with experts advising people to look out for those who are older or with existing health conditions, as well as young children.

The latest analysis from the UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology has warned low or even exceptionally low river flows and groundwater levels are likely to continue for the next three months in southern England and Wales.

A man stands in the basin of Grafham Water near Huntingdon in Cambridgeshire, where water is receding during the drought. Britain is braced for another heatwave that will last longer than July's record-breaking hot spell, with highs of up to 35C expected next week. Picture date: Monday August 8,
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A man stands in the basin of Grafham Water near Huntingdon in Cambridgeshire, where water is severely receding

Rain relief?

But, Mr Petagna said rain could be on the horizon early next week.

“There are signs that we could get some rain next week, but details at the moment are uncertain,” he said.

He added the UK needs “a few weeks” of light rain to water the ground.

“What we really need is a few weeks of light rain to soak into the ground,” he said.

“Thunderstorms are more likely to cause some flooding issues because the ground is hard, the water can’t sink in.”