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Too windy for kite fest as summer goes AWOL

Having a squall:
Natsumi Taoka
from Japan
competes at the
Surf Festival
in Newquay

ALMOST the whole country is set to be lashed by storms as Britain’s extreme summer weather continues.

After the 38.7C hottest day on record last month, gales of more than 60mph and up to 2.5in of rain are forecast today and over the weekend.

A yellow weather warning has been issued for nearly all of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland from 3pm this afternoon, with widespread travel chaos and floods predicted. The grim conditions will wreck the plans of millions hoping to head to beaches at the peak of the holiday season.

And Met Office forecaster Sarah Kent warned that anyone who does brave a trip to the coast needs to be ‘very careful’. She told Metro: ‘On a sandy beach, you only need wind speeds of 15 to 20mph to whip up the sand, and there is a strong risk of unexpectedly big waves and spray.’

The strong winds had begun sweeping in to the south-west yesterday, providing ideal conditions for surfing part of Boardmasters 2019 in Newquay, Cornwall.

However, organisers pulled the plug on the music side of the festival earlier this week because of the bleak forecasts — and more events fell victim to the weather yesterday. The Houghton dance music festival in Norfolk is off after organisers said conditions on the site had ‘dramatically worsened and would ‘deteriorate further into the weekend’. And fears of strong winds even led to the cancellation of the international kite festival that was due to start this evening on the beach in Lytham St Annes, Lancashire.

It prompted bewilderment on social media, with Chris Hembury posting: ‘Last thing you want is a windy day if you’re flying kites.’ But Fylde council said: ‘The health and safety risk is simply too great.’

Heavy rain has already caused floods in Scotland, with train services between Glasgow and Edinburgh thrown into chaos yesterday when tracks were swamped.