Thunderstorm warnings extended with half a month of rain set to fall in one hour
Parts of southern England could experience more than half of September’s average rainfall in the space of an hour today, as thunderstorm warnings cover much of the country.
Exeter in Dorset and Taunton in Somerset were among the areas impacted by a small, brief amber thunderstorm warning until 4pm.
Homes and businesses in the area were ‘likely’ to be flooded in that area of England, the Met Office said, with fast-moving water posing a ‘danger to life’.
The weather agency added that public transport and driving conditions would probably be impacted by flooding or lightning strikes.
Meanwhile, two separate yellow warnings are in place across the south west of England and South Wales until 6pm today, and across London, the south east and east of England and the East Midlands until 6am on Monday.
In some parts of the country, it is predicted that 30mm to 40mm of rain could fall.
That could amount to more than half of the average rainfall for September, which is 55mm to 60mm.
Heavy rain on Sunday morning brought ‘torrential downpours’ across the south-west of England, with localised flooding in south Devon – an area later covered by the amber warning.
Met Office meteorologist Jonathan Vautrey said ‘there is a chance these thunderstorms turn severe’, bringing ‘gusty winds with quite significant torrential rain’.
They will move relatively quickly, making it difficult to pin down where exactly will be worst affected, he said.
The forecaster added: ‘It is certainly worth keeping up to date with the forecast.
‘Although the warning area covers the whole south east of England, not everywhere in that region may see the most severe thunderstorms.
‘It is worth checking those things immediately before you head out on your journey so that you are aware where the most severe thunderstorms are possible.
‘Make sure you are taking care as the weather could change at very short lead times, and just be prepared for those gusty winds and potentially large hailstorms.’
Conditions are predicted to become fresher next week, though it may be ‘blustery at times’ as less severe minor remnants of Hurricane Lee pass over the UK towards the middle of next week.
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