Thirsty farmland from the recent dry spell could play a part in the predicted flash floods later today.
The downpour has been forecast to batter the UK with ‘potential to cause flooding and consequent damage to homes, vehicles and businesses’.
The south-east and east of England is expected to be worst affected.
It came amid what some farmers branded a ‘drought’ after the midlands and some eastern parts of the country received only half the rainfall seen in the same period last year.
NFU Mutual rural affairs specialist Tim Price said: “When extreme weather strikes our first priority is to get immediate help to people whose families and animals have been put at risk.
“We are particularly concerned because after weeks of unseasonably dry weather, land across the country remains parched which means heavy rain can run-off quickly and cause flash floods.”
NFU Mutual will be on standby to launch its emergency claims plan ‘should serious flood occur’.
Mr Price added: “Despite the massive amount of technology now used by weather forecasters, it is still difficult to accurately predict the intensity and path of storms – but the forecast does warrant concern and we recommend homeowners and farmers in flood-prone locations take simple precautions.”
NFU vice president Guy Smith said although the rain will bring some ‘much needed relief’, he remained concerned about the impacts of the recent prolonged dry spell.
He said: “The country has experienced below-average levels of rainfall but it remains the case that decent amounts of rain in May and June could put many crops back on track.
“The NFU continues to work closely with the Environment Agency, public water supply companies, Defra and The Met Office to assess the situation.”