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Rain set to cause severe disruption
A satellite image showing clouds covering Great Britain as a severe flood warning was issued (MeteoGroup/EUMETSAT/PA)
Britain is braced for severe disruption with up to a month's rain set to fall in 24 hours.
Gloomy forecasts suggest the wet weather will continue to blight the summer as the Environment Agency issued nearly 90 flood alerts and warned of a "potential danger to life".
Heavy downpours are predicted to hit the Midlands, Yorkshire and Wales, raising fears that householders could be forced to flee their homes in a repeat of scenes last month - the wettest June on record.
Weather forecasters said up to 60mm of rain could hit central and northern England on Friday. This is the same amount that would more usually be expected to fall over the course of an average July. The deluges are expected to cause difficulties on the roads over the weekend and bring further devastation to areas which were badly hit only two weeks ago.
Events have already fallen victim to the inclement weather while a man using a mobility scooter had to be rescued from an underpass on Thursday night after he became stranded in water that was 3ft deep in Goole, East Yorkshire.
The Environment Agency said prolonged and very heavy rain could cause serious problems across the north Midlands, far north-east of Wales and southern parts of northern England. Damage to buildings and structures was said to be "quite likely" in the worst areas and motorists were warned to expect travel disruption and possible road closures.
The Environment Agency said the areas most likely to be hit by severe flooding include Derbyshire, Lancashire, South and West Yorkshire, Staffordshire, Greater Manchester, Blackburn, Blackpool, Warrington, Cheshire and Halton.
There are currently five flood warnings for potential river flooding and 98 less serious flood alerts, but the Environment Agency said many more were likely to be issued in the face of the torrential rain.
Meanwhile, the Prince of Wales travelled to a flood-hit town on Friday - only to be delayed by new storms. Charles was due to arrive in Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire, at 11.10am for a whistlestop tour of the town, but he arrived in torrential rain, an hour late for the visit.
Forecasters said the Olympics are also likely to experience the kind of poor weather that has characterised the summer so far. The UK is very unlikely to see a long hot and sunny spell at the height of summer, and the inclement weather experienced in June and early July is set to still be in evidence when the Games kick off at the end of this month. But overall conditions are unlikely to be as bad as they have been, the Met Office said.