The Met Office has issued a yellow thunderstorm warning for the whole of the UK that will last until Thursday, as temperatures soar to a blistering 36C (97F) in the south east due to high pressure sweeping in from Europe. In addition, flood warnings are in place across Wales, England and Scotland as heavy rainfall threatens to swell rivers beyond their banks.
A total of five flood alerts are in place in the West Midlands, while more urgent warnings near Lancaster in the North West require immediate action, the Government’s flood information service has said.
Caroline Douglass, Flood Duty Manager at the Environment Agency, said: “Heavy thunderstorms across the Midlands and the north-west of England could lead to surface water and river flooding in some communities with possible disruption to travel and flooding of individual properties this afternoon and into early Tuesday morning.
“Isolated flooding is also possible more widely across England today through until Thursday due to further heavy thunderstorms.”
The flood warning service adds properties around Burrow Beck in Lancaster are “expected” to be affected by any flooding that does occur, and river levels are expected to rise until 6am this morning.
Residents there are advised to move valuable objects to safe places and off the ground.
Scotland, meanwhile, has issued 19 flood alerts – though no warnings are in place at the time of writing.
All this is despite sweltering temperatures expected tomorrow as the UK battles heatwave conditions.
London will simmer as temperatures rocket to 37C in the capital – not far off the highest temperature ever recorded in Britain.
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Aidan McGivern, Met Office Meteorologist, said storms are expected to continue through tomorrow and Wednesday, brining hail, rain and lightning despite scorching temperatures.
For Tuesday afternoon, Mr McGivern said: “All the right ingredients are in place for further severe thunderstorms to affect some locations.”
He added there will be “potential for severe thunderstorms with large hail, frequent lightning, and torrential rainfall as well as gusty winds.”
Tuesday morning will have been uncomfortable for sleeping – temperatures in some places staying above the low 20s.
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Tuesday day time will see temperatures rise once again, despite the threats of scattered thunderstorms.
However, there will be a cooler breeze coming in from the North Sea which could bring some low cloud cover or even fog to coastal areas across the east of Scotland and northern England.
Some coastal towns will see temperatures much lower than in other parts of the UK – Tynemouth is expected to sit at around 22C for much of the afternoon.
Wednesday will see similar temperatures – 21C being around the minimum for much of the country – though London should be slightly cooler.
There will be scattered thunderstorms too, with the potential to break out unpredictably. These will again bring the possibility of heavy rain, lightning and hail.
The highest temperature ever recorded in the UK is 38.7C, and was measured in July 2019 in Cambridge Botanic Garden.
Tropical, uncomfortable night-time temperatures will become more common with climate change, the Met Office has said.
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