WEATHER warnings have been issued as Sussex braces itself for tropical storm Bertha.
The Met Office yesterday increased the likeliness of Bertha hitting the south coast from 30% to 60%.
Downpours on Sunday could see three-quarters of the average rainfall for August fall in just one day.
There is a second weather warning in place for today, with heavy downpours forecast for parts of East Sussex.
Laura Young, a spokeswoman for the Met Office, said: “The worst case we are looking at on Sunday is 60mph gusts of winds and 50mm of rain.
“Bertha will interact with the Atlantic and bring with it some strong winds and rain.”
She said Bertha looks relatively benign at the moment but is likely to get more intense as it approaches the Channel, although the severity of the storm is still to be determined.
On Sunday 50mm of rain is forecast to fall. The average rainfall for the whole of August is 69mm.
The Met Office told The Argus that, because of the time of year, there is more likely to be flooding. The volume of foliage on trees during summer means high winds have “something to grab hold of”, increasing the chance of trees being uprooted compared with the winter. In addition, experts warned that previously hard, dry ground cannot absorb a downpour, with water likely to divert to drains instead of through the earth.
This Sunday’s weather has been given a yellow warning by the Met Office advising people to be prepared – the same level that saw three weeks’ rain fall in one hour on July 28, dramatically flooding Patcham.
The Environment Agency said heavy rain may lead to surface water flooding and has advised people to regularly check the flood risk situation over the next 48 hours.
The Met Office said today’s weather forms a separate pattern to Sunday’s predictions.
Some heavy showers are forecast in the east of Sussex, but the general outlook for the rest of the county is humid and sticky.