Thunderstorms and torrential rain bring abrupt end to UK heatwave

Thunderstorms and torrential rain are set to sweep across the UK, bringing an abrupt end to a week of baking hot weather.

The Met Office has issued a yellow weather warning for the whole of the UK on Friday, with storms expected to bring lightning, hail and flooding to some areas.

There could also be up to 50mm of rainfall in an hour.

Warnings are also in place for most of England, Scotland and Wales until 9am on Saturday.

Met Office meteorologist Craig Snell said: “Not everyone will see a storm, but if you catch one, you will certainly know about it.”

The change in weather come after thousands of people swarmed to Britain’s beaches as the country sweltered in its two hottest days of the year so far, peaking at 32.6C (90.68F) on Wednesday and 33.3C (91.94F) on Thursday, both recorded at Heathrow Airport.

It led to a major incident being declared in Bournemouth, with people urged to stay away, as well as dispersal orders issued on beach piers, overnight campers evicted and additional police patrols brought in.









Bournemouth’s crowded beach

England’s chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty issued a stark warning that coronavirus cases will rise again if people do not follow social distancing guidance.

Sky reporter Sam Holder said some people had been gathering in groups of 20 to 30, and there is now a sense among locals “that they fear that this could be the start of a second wave and that the people of Bournemouth will suffer as a result”.

Meanwhile, Scotland and Wales also experienced their hottest days of the year on Thursday, with a temperature of 30.8C (87.4F) recorded in Prestwick and 31.4C (88.5F) recorded in Trawsgoed, near Aberystwyth.

Image:
Crowds flocked to Bournemouth’s beaches in the hot weather

Friday will be a “relatively warm and humid day”, with temperatures predicted to reach 31C (87.8F) in London and the mid-20s for the rest of England.

Temperatures could rise to 27C (80.6F) in the Scottish Highlands.

Thunderstorms are expected to clear northeastwards on Friday afternoon and into the evening but will remain over northeast Scotland until Saturday morning, according to the Met Office.

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Two flood alerts were also issued by the Environment Agency, meaning flooding is possible around Loughborough in Leicestershire and the River Trent tributaries in Nottinghamshire.

Mr Snell said that temperatures are expected to fall to around 22C to 23C (73.4F) in London on Saturday, and stay around the “high teens to low 20s” for the rest of the UK.

He added: “It (the weather) will change, but it will be more what people expect our summer to be like – a mix of sun and showers.”