Extreme summer rainfall may become more frequent in the UK due to climate change, according to new research led by the Met Office in collaboration with Newcastle University.
While summers are expected to become drier overall by 2100, intense rainfall indicative of serious flash flooding could become several times more frequent.
The results from the study, published in Nature Climate Change, are the first step towards building a more complete picture of how UK rainfall may change as our climate warms.
Dr Lizzie Kendon, lead author of the research at the Met Office, said: "Until now, climate models haven't been able to simulate how extreme hourly rainfall might change in future. The very high resolution model used in this study allows us to examine these changes for the first time.
"It shows heavier summer downpours in the future, with almost five times more events exceeding 28mm in one hour in the future than in the current climate - changes we might expect theoretically as the world warms. However, we need to be careful as the result is only based on one model - so we need to wait for other centres to run similarly detailed simulations to see whether their results support these findings."