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Britain is braced for the 'wettest January on record' as an Arctic blast is expected to cause heavy rainfall and flooding.

Torrential rain already swept across the country yesterday and slightly milder wet weather is set for this evening – but a long-range forecast has predicted there is more to come.

The Met Office forecast for this evening said: "Mostly cloudy, cloud thick enough for some rain or drizzle at times, mainly in the north and west. Mostly dry in the southeast where some brighter spells. Milder than Sunday."

But the forecast looking ahead to the coming weeks predicts that January could see a drop in temperatures because of an Arctic chill sweeping through from next week.

Northern areas face -2C shivers by the weekend while southern regions will see the mercury plummet even further after midweek.

Ex-BBC and Met Office forecaster John Hammond said: “The south may pick up a colder air feed from the continent, with milder air in the north, where temperatures will be into the double figures.

“But by the weekend it has signs of chillier air reaching some northern areas.”

Weather Outlook forecaster Brian Gaze added: “It could become quite cold in the south.”

The government has issued a flood alert for West Sommerset Streams due to rising water levels in the river.

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The warning said: "River levels have risen at the Beggearn Huish river gauge as a result of the ground being saturated and reacting to further rainfall. Consequently, flooding of roads and farmland is possible today, 11/01/22.

"We expect flooding to affect the Horner Water, Rivers Aller and Washford, and the Hawkcombe, Monksilver and Doniford Streams and tributaries. We expect river levels remain above the Flood Alert threshold throughout today, 11/01/22. We are closely monitoring the situation.

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"Our incident response staff are clearing weed screens and closing flood gates. Please avoid using low lying footpaths near local watercourses and plan driving routes to avoid low lying roads near rivers which may be flooded and refer to local authority website for local road closures."

Bookies have now placed the odds at just 5/2 for this month to enter the record books as the wettest January ever.

Alex Apati of Ladbrokes said: "There's every chance this month breaks January records for all the wrong reasons, with more miserable weather on the way."

  • UK Weather
  • Met Office

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