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Extreme summer flooding "could become the norm"

Port Clarence flooding. Photo: ITV Tyne Tees

We are being warned flash flooding could soon become a normal part of our summers.

Research headed up by a team at Newcastle University and the Met Office says changes in our climate make thunderstorms more likely - and we need to be prepared

The British summer – ice creams by the beach, a walk in the park, and a sizzling BBQ.

And of course the rain – lots of it – maybe more than we’ve ever seen before – and that could become something we have to get used to.

According to research from the Met Office and Newcastle university, extreme summer rainfall may well become more frequent here because of climate change

The study looked at short but torrential summer downpours - as seen during the Boscastle flooding of 2004 and in Newcastle in 2012

The research so computer intensive it took the Met Office supercomputer – one of the most powerful in the world – about nine months to run the simulations.

And even then only the southern half of the UK could be studied – raising concerns that in the future we could see five times as many downpours bringing over an inch of rainfall an hour.

Or put more simply, thanks to torrential, thundery downpours, we need to look again at how we are preparing for flash floods.

Across the country flood defences are being built, huge projects to protect homes and businesses, like this 25 million pound scheme in Morpeth in Northumberland.

But perhaps we need to be doing more.

Research into the risk of more summer floods is on going to see if changes in our climate could mean flash flooding becomes as much a part of our summer as a splash at the seaside.