Thunderstorms and heavy rain are forecast across England and Wales on Tuesday with foggy conditions amid warnings of flooding and disruption.
The Met Office has issued a yellow thunderstorm warning for most of the UK on Tuesday as the conditions could also cause transport disruption and power cuts in areas hit by heavy rain.
Hail, frequent lightning and flooding are possible, as the rain will probably become more concentrated in southern parts of England later.
Rainfall is expected over Scotland on Tuesday, but will gradually clear throughout the day, while Northern Ireland will be the driest.
Tuesday’s forecast follows heavy rain and flooding in parts of Devon and Cornwall on Monday afternoon while thunderstorms developed in east coast counties such as Essex, Suffolk and Lincolnshire.
The wet weather comes after weeks of little rain and high temperatures that caused drought across several parts of the country, as well as forest fires and triggered snake bans.
Videos shared on social media showed a roundabout near a river in Truro, Cornwall, quickly flooded as rain showers poured in.
Despite expected thunderstorms, the Met Office said Monday marked the eighth consecutive day of 30C being recorded in the UK. Met Office meteorologist Greg Dewhurst said temperatures will be cooler on Tuesday, with a maximum of around 27C.
Flood warnings when water flows from the surface
As a result of the dry ground in recent weeks, experts have warned that the likelihood of flooding is higher as surfaces appear “a bit like concrete” and water runs off instead of seeping through.
“There’s the damage to homes and businesses these floods can cause, and the inconvenience of transport disruption, but if it’s very heavy in one place, it can also be very dangerous,” said Professor Hannah Cloke, an expert in hydrology at the University of Reading.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan on Monday warned people in the capital to prepare for flooding this week amid heavy rain and thunderstorms.
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Experts warned that urban drainage systems may not be able to cope if a sudden downpour comes as the water is likely to run off land that has dried up during weeks of little rain and hot weather.
Geographers and meteorologists say that the best type of rain to bring the earth out of its parched state would be a light drizzle.
Possible travel disruptions
Dewhurst warned that the poor weather conditions could cause difficulties for those hoping to travel and urged people to keep up to date with developments in their local area.
He said we will see some “very heavy showers develop over the coming days”.
Yellow weather warnings are also in place for southern England on Wednesday, where communities could be cut off by flooded roads and the chance of fast-flowing or deep floodwaters could cause life-threatening conditions.
However, as the week progresses, the weather is forecast to become fresher with some showers, particularly across the north of the UK.
Mr Dewhurt said temperatures will generally be around average for many, but could possibly be slightly above the far south, in the mid-20s.
“It probably looks most likely from late Wednesday to Thursday onwards it will be fresher for everybody,” he added.