UK & World News

  • 9 June 2014, 18:38

Heavy Rain Threatens Damage And Disruption

The Met Office has warned of a risk of damage and disruption from "potentially intense thundery downpours" in the next few hours.

It is the second severe weather warning for heavy rain issued in less than a week.

Surface water flooding, hail and gusting winds add to the risk, said the Met Office. Around 20mm (0.8ins) of rain is predicted to fall in an hour in some areas.

Sky News Weather Presenter Jo Wheeler said: "Today's showers have the potential to give some torrential downpours, much like last week's stormy weather which saw a significant 18.2mm (0.7ins) of rainfall in just one hour in Suffolk.

"Thunder and lightning has already been registered through parts of the Midlands, and it'll be the Midlands, east of England, Yorkshire and southeastern England at greatest risk of further storms through the rest of the day. 

"Such showers will bring brief periods of unpleasant weather in the form of heavy rainfall, gusty winds and hail, with the likelihood of seeing some very localised flash floods.

"Such is the nature of showers however, that some parts of the country, even the eastern counties, may miss the showers entirely.  And the risk overall, diminishes this evening as the showers begin to die out or move away."

A yellow "be aware" weather warning has been issued by the Met Office for Yorkshire and Humber, the East and West Midlands, the East of England and London and south east England. The warnings are in force until 8pm tonight.

The fresh storm prediction comes after the Met Office issued a severe weather warning last week for Saturday with forecasts of heavy, thundery rain battering parts of England, Wales and southern Scotland.

But fears that some places could see flooding and an entire month's rainfall in just one hour turned out to be misplaced, with Britain spared the worst as the summer storms swept the country.

The heaviest downpour was registered in Santon Downham, Suffolk, which saw 0.7in (18.2mm) fall in one hour, followed by 0.6in (16.4mm) falling in Bickley, Worcestershire.

It fell well short of the 1.2in (30mm) - almost half of the UK monthly average for the whole of June of 2.9in (73.4mm) - which had been forecast as a possibility.

Last month the Shard in London - western Europe's tallest building - was struck by lightning during a thunderstorm.

A recently published study by the Met Office and Newcastle University warned that climate change could result in heavier summer rainfall in Britain, which in turn could increase the risk of flash flooding.

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