The Environment Agency issued flood warnings across many parts of Britain on Friday as torrential rain swamped northern and central areas and weather forecasters warned there could be more downpours overnight.

Homes in Northamptonshire and South and West Yorkshire were hit by flooding on Friday, while train services were suspended between Birmingham and the east Midlands.

The Met Office said 88 millimetres (3.5 inches) of rain had fallen on Birmingham in 24 hours, more than it normally gets in a month at this time of year.

In Yorkshire, 51 mm had fallen in just six hours.

The storms looked set to wash out the first day of the final test against the West Indies at Chester-le-Street in Durham, while racing was cancelled at York.

"All areas, from the Midlands, East Anglia and in the north are pretty saturated and will react to further heavy rain," the Environment Agency said.

"There is the very real possibility of further flood warnings being issued. The rivers are running very high.

"We are reminding people to be vigilant, especially if you live near a main river."

Two severe flood warnings -- the most serious category, indicating "extreme danger to life and property" -- are in operation in Yorkshire, with another 48 warnings for rivers across the country.

The Met Office said severe weather warnings had been issued for Wales, northwest, southwest and central England.

A spokesman said some heavy showers would continue on Saturday with clearer weather expected for Sunday.