Warning of further thunderstorms before weather conditions ease

Visitors enjoy the beach at Southend, Essex
Visitors enjoy the beach at Southend, Essex (PA Wire)
15:55pm, Mon 17 Aug 2020
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Large swathes of the UK are at risk of further thunderstorms and torrential downpours after flash flooding caused disruption to parts of southern England.

A yellow thunderstorm warning covering the whole of Wales, southern England and parts of the north is due to expire at 9pm on Monday following days of unsettled weather conditions.

But the Met Office warned of potential further heavy rain, which could see up to 1.6in (40mm) falling within in an hour in some areas.

(PA Graphics) (PA Graphics)

“If you’re caught by a thunderstorm, you’re likely to see 20mm-40mm (0.8in-1.6in) of rain within the hour, and some areas could see 50mm-70mm (2in-2.8in) within three to four hours,” according to Nicola Maxey, a spokeswoman for the Met Office.

“Really, anywhere within the warning area is at risk of those storms.”

The Environment Agency has issued a number of flood alerts for parts of the Midlands around Birmingham.

One flood warning, which means flooding is expected, was issued on Monday afternoon for the Eastwood Brook and Prittlewell Brook in the Southend area after intense rainfall caused river levels to rise.

Ben Lukey, flood duty manager at the Environment Agency, said: “Localised surface water flooding may affect individual properties and cause travel disruption across parts of England today, with minor surface water flooding possible into Tuesday.

“River flooding may also occur in urban areas or from small watercourses reacting quickly to heavy rain.”

It comes after visitors were told to avoid Sheringham beach in Norfolk after storm water began overflowing on to the beach on Sunday.

“We are aware of storm water overflow on the beach in Sheringham and are working with Anglian Water and RNLI Lifeguards,” North Norfolk District Council tweeted.

“We ask that you avoid accessing the beach in the area at this time.”

Roads were closed in the area due to bad weather, while Norfolk Police warned of “very poor” driving conditions on the A11 on Sunday evening due to flooding and heavy rain.

Amid unsettled conditions, a huge funnel cloud appeared over the Bristol Channel, which appeared to create a spray from the sea and was visible for around 15 minutes, according to onlookers.

The M11 northbound was forced to close between Junction 7 and Junction 8 at Stansted due to severe flooding.

Elsewhere, Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service said on Twitter that it had removed approximately 8,000 litres of flood water from the basement of Wellingborough Museum.

Following a series of weather warnings for parts of the UK, a yellow thunderstorm warning has been issued covering a large area of Scotland for Tuesday afternoon.

Summer weather Aug 17th 2020 (PA Media)

Heavy showers could lead to properties being flooded, while there is a chance roads could be closed due to rain lashing the area, the Met Office said.

Sunshine and showers are expected across the UK during the week but rainfall will be more sustained, with the potential for 0.8in (20mm) falling over six hours.

Temperatures are closer to average compared with last week’s scorching conditions, with south-east England “significantly cooler” with highs of up to 25C (77F) on Monday, according the Met Office’s Ms Maxey.

“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,” she said.

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

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