Met Office issues FOUR thunderstorm warnings across UK as hail and lightning set to strike

UK weather: Heavy rain forecast as yellow warnings issued

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The warnings, which are in place from 1pm until 8pm today, cover parts of Scotland and northeast England. The forecaster said that “heavy, slow-moving showers and thunderstorms are likely to develop during Wednesday afternoon”. It warned that homes and businesses “could be flooded quickly, with damage to some buildings from floodwater, lightning strikes, hail or strong winds”.

It added: “Where flooding or lightning strikes occur, there is a chance of delays and some cancellations to train and bus services.

“Spray and sudden flooding could lead to difficult driving conditions and some road closures.

“There is a slight chance that power cuts could occur and other services to some homes and businesses could be lost.”

The Met Office has forecast up to 30mm of rain over the course of a couple of hours.

It warned that this could cause “difficult driving conditions and localised surface water flooding.”

The forecaster said: “Following the clearance of overnight rain, this area is likely to see the development of slow-moving showers and thunderstorms this afternoon.

“Although many places will miss the heaviest showers a few places could see in excess of 30mm of rain in a couple of hours, possibly accompanied by lightning and hail, which would be enough to cause difficult driving conditions and localised surface water flooding.”

Central, Tayside & Fife; Dumfries, Galloway, Lothian & Borders; North East England and Strathclyde have all been issued with the yellow thunderstorm warnings.

The stormy conditions are set to continue throughout the week, as a tropical storm is set to reach the British Isles tomorrow.

The Met Office said that storm Alex, which brought heavy rain and substantial flooding to Florida and the Bahamas, will bring “unseasonably strong winds” to the UK.

Met Office Deputy Chief Meteorologist Adam Thornhill said: “The low-pressure on Wednesday will bring showers to most areas of the UK, but the heaviest, slow-moving downpours are expected in northern areas, including Northern Ireland, with a chance of associated thunder and lightning.

“Although rainfall amounts are still open to some uncertainty, there’s a chance some areas in the north could see in excess of 20mm of rain within a 3-hour period.”

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He added: “By the time Ex-Tropical Storm Alex gets near UK shores, it will have transitioned into a mature Atlantic low.

“Although it will have lost much of its strength, it will bring some unseasonably strong winds across the UK – especially to the northwest on Thursday and Friday.

“The track of the former storm currently looks to be grazing the far northwest of the UK on Thursday and Friday and, although the details are still being worked out, winds could be around 45mph for most in the north of the UK, with a chance of some gusts in excess of 55mph in some exposed northwestern island and coastal areas.”

Netweather has issued a thunderstorm watch from today into Thursday, predicting that the UK will also see “some stronger storms capable of marginally large hail, strong wind gusts and localised flooding” over the course of the week.

Meanwhile, forecaster Nick Finnis said that “gales” will develop over the west and northwest coasts on Friday.

He said: “Becoming rather windy in the north and west Thursday night and through Friday – as that deep low spins closer out over the Atlantic to the northwest of Britain.

“Gales developing around coastal areas in the west and northwest, with gusts reaching 40-50mph, gusts of 30-40mph possible inland across the north and far west.”

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