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Showers to plague first week of Wimbledon 2016

Showers threaten to cause delays on a nearly daily basis next week at the 2016 Wimbledon Championships.

The 2016 Wimbledon Championships starts on Monday at the All England Club in London and an odd shower could interfere with the opening matches of the Gentlemen's and Ladies' Singles first round.

"Any shower on Monday, however, would be brief," AccuWeather Meteorologist Rob Richards said.

The latest indications point toward a higher potential for Monday's odd shower during the earlier matches.

"Other than the odd shower, Monday should be a good day for tennis," Richards said. "Temperatures will be near normal [21 C/69 F] with sunny periods expected."

In addition to keeping a brolly handy, spectators will want to be sure to apply sun cream before attending the matches.

More showery spells and a greater potential for delays will follow for Tuesday and Wednesday. However, a repeat of the flooding downpours from Thursday in London is not expected.

"A couple of disturbances will swing across the region on Tuesday and Wednesday, bringing a few showers," Richards said. "It will also be breezy and possibly gusty at times on Wednesday."

With more cloud than sun overhead, temperatures will be held several degrees below normal both Tuesday and Wednesday.

Additional bouts of brief showers and slightly below-normal temperatures are likely for the second half of next week. A turn to drier weather with near-normal temperatures should come for the tournament's second week.

"It looks like it could be fairly unsettled just north of Wimbledon during the week of 4 July to 10 July, such as Scotland and maybe northern England, but southern England should be drier than normal," AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Jason Nicholls said.

Any shower moving through Wimbledon during the matches will trigger a delay, according to AccuWeather Chief Video Meteorologist Bernie Rayno.

"Of all the [tennis court] surfaces, you cannot play on grass with any kind of rain, even if there is a brief shower," Rayno said. "The grass gets too slippery."

"Even though [Centre Court] has the roof, that does not help the beginning of the tournament because you start with a field of 128 [players], so they have to play on all of the courts," Rayno said.

The roof of Centre Court can be closed and play can resume roughly 30-40 minutes after rain begins, according to Wimbledon's official website. The remainder of the 18 grass courts are open.

Moving a match from another court to Centre Court can be authorized "in exceptional circumstances in the best interests of completing The Championships on schedule," Wimbledon rules state.

"The good news is that, typically, delays are short and they are playing the tournament during the maximum amount of daylight," Rayno said.

Sunrise at Wimbledon in late June is around 04:47 BST with sunset close to 21:21.

The sunniest day in the history of Wimbledon was 29 June 1995 with 15.9 hours of sunshine, according to the Met Office.

The tennis ball will appear to bounce heavier and slower on a cold, damp day but lighter and faster amid warm and dry conditions, according to Wimbledon.