Met Office warnings UPGRADED: Amber warning issued as danger-to-life thunderstorms hit

Thunderstorm warnings have been in place for much of the week, but now the Met Office has upgraded one area to amber alert, warning of severe thunderstorms and danger to life. The Met Office warns severe thunderstorms will affect parts of England and Wales on Wednesday evening. Some places will miss these, but where they occur they will be intense.

The amber warning areas are East Midlands, London and South East England, North West England, South West England, Wales, West Midlands and Yorkshire and Humber.

Much of the UK is also under yellow weather warnings for thunderstorms as the hot weather paves the way for explosive weather.

Rainfall totals of 1.1 to 1.5 inches (30 to 40mm) may fall in as little as 20 minutes, with a chance of 2.5 inches (60mm) falling in an hour and 2.7 to 4 inches (70 to 100mm) falling in two to three hours.

Large hail, frequent lightning and gusty winds will be additional hazards. Most thunderstorms will die out during later in the evening though a few may continue in to the night.

Read More: BBC Weather: ‘Intense’ thunderstorms clash to chase off heatwave

Met Office Meteorologist Paul Gundersen said: “Today warnings cover much of England, away from the east coast, Wales and parts of Scotland.

“The storms will be isolated but where they happen there will be frequent lightning, gusty winds and intense, heavy downpours with 30 to 40mm of rain possible in less than an hour and, in isolated spots, a small chance of 60 mm falling.

“With the continuing hot weather large swathes of the UK continue to be at risk from thunderstorms and potentially the impacts from heavy rain, into the early part of next week.”

Parts of central Scotland saw almost seven hours of continuous thunderstorms overnight.

The impacts from heavy, intense rainfall have been felt in many places, including Fife in Scotland, where an Amber warning was in place and a major incident was declared.

Meanwhile, earlier this week homes and businesses were flooded in mid and west Wales.  

The Met Office warns to expect

  • There is a chance that fast flowing/deep water could suddenly occur, bringing a danger to life and extensive flooding of homes and businesses
  • Damage to buildings/structures from lightning strikes, hail, strong winds may occur
  • If flooding occurs, road closures with long delays and cancellations to bus and rail services are possible
  • Rapidly changing, dangerous driving conditions from spray, sudden flooding, standing water and/or hail might occur
  • Power and other essential services, such as gas, water, mobile phone service could be lost
  • Communities might be completely cut off, perhaps for several days

Six days of weather warnings are currently in place, from Wednesday through to Monday, August 17.

The thunderstorms follow days of scorching temperatures, with conditions reaching over 34C for much of this week. 

Warm and sticky nights have followed, with temperatures not dipping below 20C all night. 

The Met Office tweeted: “It’s set to be another very warm night tonight and uncomfortable for sleeping In fact, it will be a #tropical night for many, with temperatures staying above 20.0C once again”.

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