Flood warnings as UK to be hit by torrential rain and thunderstorms

The UK is heading for more torrential rain and thunderstorms this week, with potential for flooding in Wales and England.

Heavy rain could lead to around 1.6in (40mm) of water falling in just one hour in some parts of the country. A yellow thunderstorm warning is currently in place for the whole of Wales and southern England, and some parts of northern England, but will expire at 9pm this evening.

A second yellow warning for torrential rain across Scotland, including Edinburgh and Glasgow, is in place from 1pm tomorrow. The Met Office warns that some homes and businesses could be flooded, while driving conditions may become difficult.

Discussing today’s warnings, Nicola Maxey, a spokeswoman for the Met Office, said: ‘If you’re caught by a thunderstorm, you’re likely to see 20mm to 40mm (0.8in to 1.6in) of rain within the hour, and some areas could see 50mm to 70mm (2in to 2.8in) within three to four hours.

‘Really, anywhere within the warning area is at risk of those storms.’

Some places within the warning area will miss the thunderstorms altogether, but where they do occur, there is a possibility of lightning, hail and gusty winds, each bringing additional hazards.

The Environment Agency has issued a number of flood alerts for parts of the Midlands around Birmingham. Anyone living near to affected areas is urged to ‘remain vigilant’ and avoid walking or driving through flood water.

Areas listed with a potential for flooding include the River Blythe in Warwickshire, the River Cole, River Rea, River Stour and Smestow Brook, in the Black Country and South Staffordshire, and Upper Tame.

Already today parts of Essex, Gloucestershire and Kent have been struggling with flooded homes and gardens after torrential rain took hold throughout the night. Pictures from Chelmsford showed kayakers taking to their street this weekend after it disappeared beneath the water.

The showers are expected to continue across the UK this week, but rainfall will become more sustained as the days go on, with the potential for 0.8in (20mm) falling over six hours.

Ms Maxey said temperatures are now closer to average than earlier this month, when the heatwave saw the UK reach highs of 36C.

She said: ‘As we go through the week, we’re looking at those mid-20s for the south-east and, as we go further north, towards Manchester, it will be 22C, 23C, so the low 20s the further north you go.

‘This is closer to average as we’re heading towards autumn, so not that unusual.’

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