THOSE planning a barbecue this weekend may have to take evasive action after the Met Office delivered a severe weather warning for the region.
The yellow weather warning for rain will last up until 7pm today with up to 20 to 30mm expected to fall in just a few hours.
It is expected the rain fall with cause disruption to travel plans and events planned for the weekend.
In Devon, the final day of the Devon County Show was cancelled for the first time in its 119-year history.
While a flash mob event organised by mayor Chris Chatterton with the Gloucestershire Symphony Orchestra scheduled this afternoon has been relocated to the Eastgate Shopping Centre.
A spokesman for the Met Office said: “A complex area of low pressure will generate areas of heavy rain during the morning, the brighter skies that follow then encouraging formation of thundery showers across southern areas during the afternoon.
“Totals of rain could exceed 20 to 30 mm in just a few hours, possibly very locally in excess of 40 mm.
“Not everywhere will receive these totals, but where they do occur, surface water may affect travel.”
Severn Trent Water has said it is ready, and already working round the clock, to deal with the inevitable flash flooding.
James Jesic, waste water manager for Severn Trent said: “We’re aware that bad weather is coming and we’re working hard to get ready for it. We’ve already got plenty of staff on the phones in our call centre and lots of teams available out and about across the region to deal with flooding issues. We’re also out and about keeping an eye on those areas with a high risk of flooding.
“Unfortunately, in stormy weather, the drains and sewers often have significantly more water flowing through them. When we get a lot of rain in one go, it has a hard time sinking into the ground; so it just runs off the surface and goes directly into drains and sewers.”
But if you were planning a barbecue all is not lost, website news.bbqbarbecues.co.uk has drawn up a list of top tips for holding one in the rain.
It says: “Pick the location
It makes sense to give yourself a head start when the weather’s bad, so choose a sheltered spot for your barbecue if the rain clouds look threatening.
Get a gazebo
Functioning like a giant umbrella, a gazebo will serve to keep the barbecue and food, and guests, dry. Letting you carry on with the cooking as well as preventing your barbecue party invitees from being soaked by any downpours, an open-sided gazebo is ideal.
You need a gazebo that will work safely with your barbecue, one that offers covering at a sufficient height and distance from the grill, and with all four sides open so air can circulate.
As obvious as it may sound, make sure the barbecue is clean before you venture outdoors to start cooking, and allow plenty of time for the charcoal to heat up sufficiently first.
Grab a drink
Often, wet weather brings its friend cold weather along for the ride, so it’s a good idea to make plenty of hot drinks for your guests. Add a touch of spice too to warm everyone’s spirits.
Opt to grill easy, quick and tasty food on the barbecue when the rain arrives or is on its way. Avoid complicated dishes (no matter how delicious they are), as you want to be able to cook food quickly – especially as you may need to make a mad dash for indoors. Choose foods like burgers, sausages, fish and pre-prepared kebabs that don’t require long cooking times. And prepare all the dips, sauces, salads and sides beforehand, in the comfort of your kitchen.
In the rain, you’ll want to keep the lid of your barbecue down to prevent the flames becoming dampened. Keep an eye on the food but the lid-down approach keeps the barbecue hotter and helps to speed up cooking times.
Try indirect heat
As an alternative, you could make your barbecue a grilled meat feast instead. Simply cook a joint of meat like a whole chicken or leg of lamb using the indirect heat method – cooking slowly for a number of hours, basting as you go. This way, you could cook the vegetables in the oven and serve up a delicious barbecue-roasted dinner outdoors or indoors.
Boost the mood
Play some upbeat music, give the barbecue party a theme, line up some games – whatever you do, make it fun and people will soon forget that rain is falling from the sky.
Be the best host
Be adaptable as the host, happy to cook solo if the weather demands it as well as be the life and soul of the party when possible. If the rain really comes down, move your guests indoors and open the kitchen window so you can keep in contact while you grill the food and bring it inside when it’s ready for everyone to tuck into.
Of course, just because you’re tough enough to grill in the rain, doesn’t mean you have to eat outdoors too. Barbecuing is all about creating that amazing flame-grilled taste as well as a fun atmosphere, so if needs be you can always decamp to your kitchen to eat the prepared feast.”
To see the full article visit http://news.bbqbarbecues.co.uk/barbecue-articles/top-tips-barbecuing-rain