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Continued risk of thunderstorms

The risk of thunderstorms and torrential rain will continue over the next few days but there will also be sunny spells at times across the country.

Both yellow and amber National Severe Weather Warnings for rain have been issued for today and tomorrow (Friday). These highlight the area’s most at risk, however, details of exactly where will see the worst impacts from these storms are likely to be uncertain until quite close to the time they break out. 

A Yellow warning for rain covering central and southern England and all of Wales is in place for this afternoon and into tomorrow as areas of heavy rain and thunderstorms continue to develop. Within this warning area is a small area where the worst of the storms are expected and the warning level has been increased to Amber here.

Met Office Chief Meteorologist Andy Page said: “It is expected that the storms will merge together to produce a larger more persistent area of thunderstorms over parts of the South West, central southern England and the southern half of Wales. 30-40 mm of rain is possible in an hour here with a good chance as much as 60-80 mm rain could fall within 2-3 hours in some places. As well as this, frequent lightning and large hail are possible”.

 “This could result in flash flooding, transport delays and dangerous driving conditions, especially on the M4 and M5.

“We’d advise anyone with outdoor plans over the next few days to keep updated with the forecast and warnings, and consider their plans if the risk of thunderstorms or heavy rain may affect them".

Kate Marks, Environment Agency flood duty manager, said: “Further heavy showers and scattered thunderstorms bring a risk of localised surface water and river flooding on Thursday and Friday. The main risk is for the Western counties of England, with urban areas most likely to see the impacts of any flash flooding.

“Throughout this period of unsettled stormy weather, our teams will continue to work 24/7 operating flood defences, clearing blockages in rivers and streams to ensure they flow freely, and supporting partners responding to any incidents of surface water flooding.

“With heavy rain forecast during rush hour, drivers should stay up to date with the latest weather forecast and travel information before making their journey. We remind people not to drive through floodwater as just 30cm can move your car. The public can check our active alerts and warnings – which are updated every 15 minutes – online at www.gov.uk/check-flood-risk or by calling 0345 988 1188.”

Highways England’s Head of National Traffic Operations, Mike Ord, said: “We want everybody to arrive at their destination safely and without incident, and urge drivers to adapt their driving in wet weather. Rain makes it harder for tyres to grip the road and harder for drivers to see ahead – significantly increasing the chances of being involved in a collision.

“It generally takes at least twice as long to stop on a wet road as on a dry road. We recommend slowing down if the rain and spray from vehicles is making it difficult to see and be seen, keeping well back from the driver in front and, if you feel the steering becoming unresponsive, slow down gradually as it probably means that water is preventing the tyres from gripping the road.”

The risk of scattered heavy showers and thunderstorms tends to diminish over the weekend, with any activity being restricted to northern Britain.

Away from the thunderstorms, there will be plenty of fine weather with most areas seeing some sunshine over the next few days, although low cloud could continue to affect the eastern coastal areas.

Beyond the weekend, there will be a good deal of fine weather around, with the best of the sunshine in the west.

Keep up to date with the weather in your area using our forecast pages and by following us on Twitter and Facebook, as well as using our new mobile app which is available for iPhone from the App store and for Android from the Google Play store.

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