Met Office storm warning: New UK weather alert for violent lightning and sudden floods

MET Office: Thunderstorm warning issued for parts of UK

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The forecasters issued the alert after the UK was hit by a blistering heatwave on Monday and Tuesday. After two days of record-breaking heat, the Met Office said the UK could now be lashed by “sudden flooding” as thunderstorms and lightning strikes. 

The Met Office said there would be a showery breakdown of the heat on Wednesday, with a yellow warning for thunderstorms in place for parts of south-east, east and central England in the afternoon and evening.

The service warns people to expect flooding or lightning strikes, delays and some cancellations to train and bus services, spray and sudden flooding, road closures and possible power cuts.

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

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

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

Forecasters also warned of “slow-moving torrential downpours”. 

The warning said: “Heavy showers and thunderstorms are expected to develop across central, southern and eastern parts of England on Wednesday afternoon.

“Whilst many places will only see relatively small amounts of rain, some slow-moving torrential downpours are possible.

“Where these occur, 20-30 mm is possible in an hour and in a few spots more than 50 mm could fall in 3 hours. Lightning will be an additional hazard, most likely over southern England.”

Temperatures are also set to drop by up to 10C in some areas on Wednesday. 

The weather will be fresher for most places, although some parts of East Anglia will still see temperatures reach as high as 30C.

It comes after the UK was hit by a scorching heatwave that saw firefighters face their busiest day since the Second World War and major travel disruption across the country.

Major incidents were declared in London, Norfolk, Suffolk, Lincolnshire, Leicestershire and South Yorkshire on Tuesday as fires broke out in several areas amid the tinder-dry conditions.

Two “large-scale” incidents took place in Upminster and the village of Wennington, east London, where black smoke billowed into the air, while flames destroyed buildings and ravaged nearby fields.

Sixteen firefighters were injured tackling the blazes with two admitted to hospital who were later discharged, London Fire Brigade (LFB) assistant commissioner, Jonathan Smith told Times Radio.

Sadiq Khan said the LFB had experienced its busiest day on record, receiving more than 2,600 calls throughout the day – seven times the usual number.

The London Mayor told Sky News: “Yesterday was the busiest day for the fire service in London since the Second World War.”

He added: “Yesterday they received more than 2,600 calls – more than a dozen simultaneous fires requiring 30 engines, a couple requiring 15, and some requiring 12.

“I’m afraid the bad news is, 41 properties were destroyed in London.”

Simon Clarke, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, said the fires were a “warning sign” about the impact of climate change.

He said: “This is a remarkable, unprecedented event and something which obviously, because people have been saying, we are not used to seeing in this country.

“What we’ve seen in recent days is not normal and it is a warning sign.”

Lincolnshire, which experienced the country’s hottest temperature on record, 40.3C, in Coningsby on Tuesday afternoon, stood down its major incident status on Wednesday after battling what it described as “searing” conditions.

The temperature in Coningsby beat the UK’s previous record of 38.7C in Cambridge three years ago by 1.6C.

The Met Office said 34 observation sites across England provisionally broke the previous all-time record, ranging from Bramham, in West Yorkshire, to Charlwood, in Surrey, while a further five had equalled it on Tuesday.

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