BBC Weather: UK set for thunderstorms as temperatures drop

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Heavy showers battered large parts of the UK overnight with extreme lightning strikes setting homes ablaze in southern parts of England. Emergency crews responded on Saturday morning after severe storms destroyed the roofs of two semi-detached properties in Hampshire – remarkably crews said no one required medical assistance.

Britons basked in a week-long heatwave with temperatures in excess of 30C, but the Met Office has replaced extreme heat warnings with two yellow alerts for thunderstorms.

They are currently in force until Sunday evening, with up to 80-100mm of rain also expected.

An area of low pressure is on course to engulf the country with an increased threat of lightning, hail and gusty winds, the Met Office said.

The latest weather charts show a band of wet and windy weather hurtling towards Britain.

Maps produced by Wxcharts show a storm closing in from Europe on Sunday evening – with northeastern areas of England and Scotland in the firing line.

Peak wind gust charts show coastal areas towards the east of the UK turning a shade of red, indicating gusts in excess of 40mph.

Southern parts of England are set for the wettest weather conditions over the weekend, with 11 flood alerts currently in place in and around London, Kent and East Anglia.

Despite the gloomy forecast, temperatures are expected to remain in the mid-20Cs – with isolated sunny spells mainly in the North.

Met Office meteorologist Frank Saunders said: “The warnings in place over the weekend show a marked shift in the weather pattern for many southern areas as low pressure moves in, with potential impacts for business and the public.

“This more unsettled weather brings a risk of torrential downpours and flooding in some places.

“However, areas further north will cling on to see some fine weather through the weekend, although not quite as hot as recently.”

Netweather.TV forecaster Paul Michaelwaite warned northern and western parts are unlikely to escape the thunderstorms as strong gusts send the wet weather system across the country.

He said: “Those in the sunnier north and west won’t be entirely immune from the threat of showers or a thunderstorm though.

“As the heat of the day, converging winds and, in the case of western Scotland, the mountains, aid the development of isolated downpours.

“A storm forecast has been issued for today to cover the convective threats. Frequent lightning, hail and torrential rain are again amongst the risks, although not everyone in the risk areas will see those.”

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Mr Michaelwaite added the southern areas of England and Wales will be hit hardest by the showers tomorrow and warned of another wet weather system brewing in the North Sea.

He added: “Today sees much of southern England and south Wales under threat of catching a downpour, but by Sunday that risk becomes more focused on the southeast corner and East Anglia as the low pressure responsible moves east through Northern France.

“We will need to keep a bit of a watch on another low pressure system in the North Sea later on Sunday as well, which may bring some rain and showers into Northeast England and perhaps also Eastern Scotland.

“Elsewhere Sunday will be mostly dry with just the outside risk of a shower or storm, with those in the north and west enjoying the best of the sunshine as that low pressure in the south throws a fair bit of cloud north across eastern, southern and central England.”
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