Rain tracker map live: Met Office rain radar pinpoints when rain will fall near you

The UK has been a weather rollercoaster this week. From six days of boiling 30C plus temperatures, many parts of the UK are now being battered by storms and lightning, causing flash floods up and down the country.

Weather warnings have been put out across much of England, Wales and Northern Ireland in response to the extreme weather.

A yellow thunderstorm warning means there could be a risk of flash flooding, disrupted travel, power cuts and potential risk to life.

The warnings last across England and parts of Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland into Monday next week, signalling the end of the glorious temperatures seen for the past six days.

The Environment Agency has five flood alerts posted for possible flooding in areas around Birmingham, and 17 flood alerts are in place across Scotland.

Floods have already hit Gloucester, Lancashire, and Stonehaven, and earlier this week homes and businesses were flooded in mid and west Wales.

However, you can prepare yourself for downpours and floods with the Met Office rainfall radar .

The Met Office rainfall radar can tell you with precision if and when rain is going to come down near you.

The map shows rainfall radar images at five minute intervals, so you can see almost exactly when rain is going to hit your area.

Weather radars send out electromagnetic pulses to measure the location and intensity of precipitation – including rain, hail and snow – in real time.

Each radar provides data out to 255 km, completing a series of scans about the vertical axis at different elevation angles every five minutes.

The highest level of rainfall reported was at Inverbervie, which had 54.6 mm yesterday.

The UK is known for its wet weather – last year there were 165 rainy days – and we see more rain in certain parts than others.

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There is a clear divide between the northwest and south east of the UK.

The Met Office explains this is because of Atlantic weather systems.

The agency said: “The prevailing warm moist westerly winds mean that the west of the UK is more likely to receive rainfall from Atlantic weather systems, in the form of frontal rainfall.

“These weather systems usually move from west to east across the UK and as they do so the amount of rainfall they deposit reduces.

“This is because the mountains of the northern and western UK force the prevailing westerly winds to rise, which cools the air and consequently enhances the formation of cloud and rain in these locations.”

The most rainy parts of the UK are northwest England, paticuarly the Lake District and Cumbria, Wales, especially Snowdonia, and south west England, mainly the higher elevation areas of Dartmoor, Exmoor and Bodmin Moor.

Some of these places receive more than 4 metres of rainfall in a year on average.

Wetter months tend to come at the end and the beginning of the year.

The winter just gone was the fifth wettest winter on record across the British Isles.

Three named storms crossed the UK during February, Ciara, Dennis and Jorge.

The heavy rainfall throughout the month resulted in some severe impacts with many areas flooded, including parts of Yorkshire, Wales and the Midlands.

Met Office records show there is a recent trend of increasing rainfall on seasonal and annual timescales.

Since 1998, we have seen six of the ten wettest years on record, a sign of growing climate change.

Rainfall patterns in the UK have always shown a large range of natural variation, which makes it more difficult to unambiguously identify long term trends linked to climate change.

However, wetter winters have been observed and is consistent with what meteorologists expect to happen in the future with continued climate change.

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