Met Office forecasters have issued a yellow weather warning for rain and have cautioned of thunderstorms as the heatwave continues. On Tuesday Britain baked in 32.2C heat, making it the hottest day of the year so far. Now a deluge of rain and thunderstorms are due to hit.
Heatwave conditions have seen temperatures push up to above 32C this week, with Brits heading to beaches and parks in their droves to soak up the sunshine.
Periods of extended heat often lead to thunderstorms, and parts of the UK saw a sudden change in the weather on Tuesday as hail, lightning, torrential rain and thunder hit.
Golf-ball sized hail was reported across parts of the UK, with torrential downpours seen in parts of London and the southeast.
As quickly as the rain, thunder and hail arrived it stopped, leaving Brits with sunny, warm conditions once more.
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Now warnings for rain have been issued by the Met Office, with the potential for further thunderstorms, accompanied by lightning and hail.
Up to 3.93 inches of rain is possible in some areas this weekend, with temperatures forecast to dip from the sweltering highs of this week.
The Met Office warns: “Outbreaks of rain and some thunderstorms are expected to spread from the southwest on Friday night, this introducing unsettled conditions to much of England and Wales for Saturday and Sunday.
“Heavy, thundery showers are likely to break out by day, particularly on Sunday when these could be widespread and locally torrential. Lightning and hail are also expected.
“Rainfall amounts will vary from place to place, but there is the potential for up to 100 mm to build up in some locations over the course of the weekend, much of which could fall in a short period of time.”
The warnings are in force from midnight on Saturday, July 24 through to 11.59pm on Sunday, July 25.
The warning area covers the East Midlands, East of England, London and South East England, South West England, North West England, Wales, West Midlands and Yorkshire and Humber.
Met Office Deputy Chief Operational Meteorologist David Oliver said: “This yellow rain warning comes as temperatures are set to dip for many areas over the weekend.
“A spell of rain, heavy in places perhaps with some thunder, moves in from the southwest late on Friday and into Saturday.
“This is followed up by an unsettled weekend for much of England and Wales with showers breaking out widely.
“Some very heavy showers or thunderstorms are on the cards, especially during Sunday. However, farther north it is set to stay mainly dry with some fine weather, although it will not be as hot as has been seen recently.”
This comes as several amber heat warnings are in place across the UK, the first-ever extreme heat warnings from the Met Office.
One extreme heat warning spans London and South East England, South West England, Wales and the West Midlands and is in place until 11.59pm on Thursday.
The second is in place until 11.59pm on Friday and is for Northern Ireland.
The Met Office writes: “The current hot weather is expected to continue until later this week, with daytime temperatures peaking on Wednesday and Thursday.
“High overnight temperatures are also expected before temperatures fall on Friday.”
Thunderstorms are also forecast for today, widespread across the UK.
However, Netweather forecasters say these storms will be very isolated.
The forecasters say: “The southeast of England is the most likely region, with a 30 percent risk.
“For the vast majority, though, it’ll be another dry, hot and sunny day with temperatures again peaking in the low-thirties.
“Thanks to an onshore breeze, the east coast will be cooler, as will the north coast of Scotland, with more cloud around here.”
Met Office five day forecast
Very hot and sunny for many, with a few thunderstorms in the east during the afternoon.
Cloudier start in the north and northeast though breaking up during the morning. The far north staying cloudier with a little drizzle possible.
Another very warm and uncomfortable night over much of the UK.
Cloud in the far north spreading back across eastern Scotland and into northeast England – cooler here.
Another hot and sunny day for most with cloud clearing much of the north, the far north staying cloudier.
Perhaps a few showers developing in central parts by day.
Outlook for Friday to Sunday
Dry and sunny for most Friday, remaining hot in the west with isolated showers.
Rain and heavy showers spreading across southern regions through Saturday and Sunday. The north remaining fine.