UK weather: Storm warnings for most of country after massive hail stones in northern England
A yellow weather warning has been issued for thunderstorms for most of England, Scotland and eastern Wales as June’s heatwave comes to an end.
After three days of temperatures hitting the 30s in some parts, a thunderstorm in northern England heralded a change in the weather on Friday evening.
Leeds and Sheffield were among the places to see hail stones of up to 4cm in size, accompanied by torrential rain.
And the yellow weather warning for thunderstorms extends to 9am on Saturday, with hail, lightning and flooding expected in parts of the UK and the possibility of up to 50mm of rain in an hour.
The South West and the far southeast coast of England are not covered by the warning.
Another yellow weather warning for rain is in place for Scotland and Northern Ireland between 9am and 10pm on Saturday, with the Met Office saying up to 20mm of rain could fall per hour in some areas.
Met Office meteorologist Craig Snell said: “Not everyone will see a storm, but if you catch one, you will certainly know about it.”
The Environment Agency has issued seven flood alerts – meaning flooding is possible.
Five of these are near rivers in the West Midlands, while others are for the waterways around Loughborough in Leicestershire and the River Trent tributaries in Nottinghamshire.
Meanwhile, Mr Snell said he had seen photos of Friday’s hail stones, adding that the size was due to the heat over the previous days.
He said: “Usually in the winter when we have hail it is quite small, but this time of the year, because the heat gives the thunderstorms more energy and helps keep the hail stones up in the clouds for longer, they get to grow more and then fall from the sky.”
Earlier on Friday, temperatures reached 31.2C (88.16F) at Kew Gardens in west London, the hottest place in the UK that day, the Met Office said.
On Thursday, the UK saw its warmest day so far this year – 33.4C (92.1F) at Heathrow Airport in west London. Prestwick in Scotland reached 30.8C (87.4F) and Trawsgoed, near Aberystwyth in Wales, seeing 31.4C (88.5F).
The high temperatures saw thousands of people head to beaches, particularly along England’s southern coast, with some officials reporting “gridlocked roads”, fighting and overnight camping.
Saturday’s temperatures are expected to drop to around 22C (71.6F) in London and around 15C (59F) in the North of England and in Scotland, with a mixture of sunshine and showers across the country.
On Sunday, the forecast is for rain and gusts of up to 50mph in coastal areas of North Wales and the North West of England. Further inland, it will remain breezy.
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