By Ryan Rafferty The flood waters are coming in, and in the land where the game has become a beloved global phenomenon, it is pouring.
On the outskirts of a small town called Bexley, the weather is turning cold and rainy.
Residents have been waiting for the last few days to see if the rainy season has begun.
But with the forecast for the weekend forecast for rainfall, the community is not quite ready to take to the skies yet.
“It’s raining and we have to wait for the rain to come down and then we can do it,” says Chris Cottrell.
The town is a relatively small town of about 50 people and just outside of town is an area that is currently under a flood warning due to a high level of rainfall.
The forecast for that particular area will bring a lot of water to the area.
“We’re going to get the heaviest rains this weekend, so that means we’re probably going to see a lot more people and a lot less water,” says Cottrel.
The village is not alone.
A similar situation has been happening for some time now, with some areas of the UK and France seeing the first of several record-breaking rainfalls in just the past few days.
“The whole of England is in trouble,” says Mark Williams, a meteorologist at the Met Office.
“The rain is going to come in, it’s going to rain, and then it’s just going to fall,” he says.
“There are lots of areas where the rain is coming down, and we don’t know how long it’s actually going to stay down.”
As the country’s rainfall season approaches, there is some hope that the weather system will ease off.
The UK has been getting much of the rain from the North Atlantic, with much of that rain falling in the south-west and north-east.
“It’s only in the North Sea that we have this sort of a pattern, where the UK is going north-westward and we’re getting more of the rainfall,” says Williams.
However, the rainfall is expected to drop further into the north, bringing more of a wetter, drier situation in the UK.
“If we can keep that rain on the ground for the next few days, that will help us avoid a lot worse than the worst,” says David O’Brien, a member of the Met Agency’s forecasters.
It’s a scenario that is being seen across the world, with the US, Canada and Japan all reporting a similar situation.
“They’re going northwards, they’re drying out, and they’re getting a lot drier conditions,” says O’Brian.
The weather system that is causing the driest conditions in the world is the El Nino, a phenomenon that occurs every few years when the world’s Pacific Ocean warms.
During this time of warmer water temperatures in the Pacific, the rain falls over the equator and then gradually cools in the Southern Hemisphere.
“As the El Niño warming happens, we’re seeing a lot fewer storms coming through and more rainfall that’s going down into the tropics,” says Tom Clark, a senior scientist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
That rainfall pattern has led to some of the drier, driest seasons in the US.
In some parts of the country, the average rainfall is just below 1 centimetre per year, which is the same amount as the annual rainfall that fell in New Zealand in the last drought year.
“We’re actually seeing less rain this year than we’ve seen in years past, but there are a lot going on in the atmosphere,” says Clark.
In the UK, there have been a number of instances of record-shattering rainfall.
In 2015, a record amount of rainfall fell in just two weeks, with more than 4.5 inches of rain falling for the month.
That year also saw the first ever recorded rainfall in the entire country, when more than 6.5 million litres of rain fell in a single day in July.
That rainfall event was also the biggest in the history of Britain.
This is one of the most significant drought years in the country.
“I think there is still some hope, but I would be cautious to say we’ve actually got a drought here, as it’s still just a few weeks away,” says William O’Dwyer, a lecturer at the University of Birmingham.
In Australia, drought conditions have been the norm for much of this year, with drought conditions across much of northern and southern Australia being reported for the first time in the past week.
In Tasmania, which has been hit by record-setting rainfall for the past month, drought-related issues have been reported in all parts of Tasmania.
“There’s still a chance that we’ll get a few more record-breaker years in this year,” says Peter Wootton, an adviser at the Hobart Institute of