Britons are set to sweat through the highest temperatures of the year so far despite downpours, thunderstorms and possible flash flooding hitting the country this weekend. The Met Office recorded 32.2C at Chertsey Abbey, in Surrey, today making Saturday the warmest day of the year so far, and the hottest since August 24 last year. But despite yellow weather warnings for much of England and Wales for thunderstorms, any deluge is unlikely to bring temperatures down, with little respite from the sweltering conditions until later next week.
Dan Stroud, from the Met Office, told Express.co.uk said 30 to 40mm of rain was possible in a few spots in a short space of time, but he said the lightning storms were unlikely to bring any significant respite from the high temperatures.
He said: “Expecting the temperatures to tail off ever so slightly over the next day or so, but 32.2 celsius was the maximum we hit today at Chertsey Abbey, in Surrey, making it the warmest day of the year so far, and the warmest since at least August 24th last year.
“We seen a few lightning strikes over the last couple of hours across central and southern England.
“Just north west of Bath we have seen a few thunderstorms at the moment and we are expecting those to move north towards Cheltenham, and towards Oxford over the next few hours.
“We do have a couple of yellow thunderstorm warnings, they are quite broad envelopes, they cover a good chunk of England and Wales and up into the north west.
“We have one that is valid up until 10.30 this evening, that’s covering a scattering of thundery showers, some of those showers may link up with some heavy rain and that rain could potentially cause some localised issues.”
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Met Office forecaster Oli Clayden warned that due to heavy rain, flooding is possible – and as a result, there is a risk of travel disruption over the weekend.
He told the Mirror: “The other thing with thundery showers, is they’re very sporadic and this means that probably quite a few areas will see no rain at all, while somewhere several miles away may get a deluge.”
Paul Michaelwaite, from Netweather.tv, said the storms spreading across the UK were unlikely to change the overall pattern of conditions.
He told Express.co.uk: “The weather is having a blip rather than truly breaking down this weekend, as the hotter, humid air which has moved up from the south is also quite unstable.
“So along with it being the hottest weekend of the year so far, some intense downpours and thunderstorms are being triggered. High pressure will stay in charge though, and by mid next week, we’ll be back to more settled conditions.”
The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) has issued an amber alert for hot weather until 9am on Tuesday in the West Midlands, East Midlands, east of England, South East and South West.
It means the impact of the heat is “likely to be felt across the whole health service… and the wider population, not just the most vulnerable”.
A further yellow alert, which is less serious and warns that there may be some disruption to services due to weather conditions, is in place for the North East, North West and Yorkshire and Humber regions of England, as well as London.
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James Madden of Exacta Weather told the Daily Star thunderstorms could lead to flash-flooding dangers for some parts of the country.
He said: “Some of these thunderstorms are also likely to trigger some pretty heavy downpours on Sunday, and this will bring the increased risk for some flash-flooding in places, particularly, across some southern and central regions to the west of the country and also into parts of north-west England.”
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