UK & World News

  • 19 July 2014, 12:35

Thunder, Hail And Lightning After Hottest Day

Flood warnings have been issued for most of England and Wales as more thunderstorms are expected - after at least 3,000 were reported in the South East on Friday.

Sky News weather forecasters said heavy showers in the South and South East would move northwards across Britain during the morning after temperatures reached 32C (90F) on Friday, making it the hottest day of the year so far.

They have predicted "torrential downpours, hail, frequent lightning and the risk of localised flooding".

The Environment Agency warned up to 30mm (1.2in) of rain could fall in an hour in some areas.

Almost every county in England and Wales is at "medium" risk of flooding, according to the EA, which has issued 59 flood alerts, warning people to be prepared.

The majority are in the Midlands, the South East and the South West.

Fire crews were called to a number of incidents caused by lightning overnight into Saturday.

The first floor and roof of a house in Sittingbourne, Kent, was set alight by a lightning strike, while the roof of a bungalow was hit in Whitstable, Kent Fire and Rescue said.

Houses were also hit in the market village of Lenham, near Maidstone, while lightning started several small fires in Willesborough, near Ashford.

Hot and humid conditions during the day on Friday brought warnings from Public Health England (PHE).

It urged people to drink plenty of fluids, keep out of the sun when at its hottest and to wear at least factor 15 sun cream for skin protection.

It also called for people to look out for those most at risk - children and the elderly.

Temperatures are expected to be slightly lower today with a high of 26C(79F) in London, but it will still be very humid in the South and the Midlands.

Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Republic will have a mostly dry start to the day.

It will be unsettled again on Sunday with sunny spells and showers, and more heavy downpours and thunderstorms.

Despite the thundery conditions there is still a "yellow" warning of a heatwave for the UK, which advises people to be "alert and ready".

There is a 60% chance of a heatwave continuing until tomorrow morning, according to the Met Office.

A Heathrow Airport spokeswoman said airlines would cancel 20% of flights between 4pm and 6pmtoday due to the thundery weather.

An electrical surge at Manchester Airport had led to some delays.

General duty manager Gary Brown said: "It impacted on some lifts and baggage systems but most systems are now back up and running.

"We'll wait to see what happens this afternoon when we're expectingthunder."

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