Thunderstorm warnings continue across much of the UK until Monday, 17th August, with a risk of impacts from heavy rain, flash flooding, lightning and hail.
The current hot weather creates ideal conditions for thunderstorms and Chief Meteorologist Paul Gundersen says; “Today warnings cover much of England, away from the east coast, Wales and parts of Scotland. The storms will be isolated but where they happen there will be frequent lightning, gusty winds and intense, heavy downpours with 30 to 40mm of rain possible in less than an hour and, in isolated spots, a small chance of 60 mm falling.
“With the continuing hot weather large swathes of the UK continue to be at risk from thunderstorms and potentially the impacts from heavy rain, into the early part of next week.”
The temperature has now reached 34.6C at St James's Park#Didyouknow that this current #heatwave is the first time since at least 1961 that we have had 6 consecutive days of 34C and above#UKHeatwave pic.twitter.com/y8xVfWlV1J
— Met Office (@metoffice) August 12, 2020
Parts of central Scotland saw almost 7 hours of continuous thunderstorms overnight. The impacts from heavy, intense rainfall have been felt in many places, including Fife in Scotland, where an Amber warning was in place and a major incident was declared. Meanwhile, earlier this week homes and businesses were flooded in mid and west Wales.
Neil Davies, Flood Duty Manager at the Environment Agency, said: “Isolated thunderstorms could bring sudden surface water and river flooding to parts of England today, which may lead to flooded properties and severe travel disruption in some areas. Further surface water and river flooding is also a possibility from Thursday to Sunday.
“Environment Agency teams are working hard alongside local authorities to reduce the risk of flooding and keep communities safe, clearing grills and weed screens in areas which may be affected by heavy showers, and are ready to respond and support where needed. We urge people to check their flood risk, sign up for free flood warnings and keep up to date with the latest situation at Gov.uk, call Floodline on 0345 988 1188 or follow @EnvAgency on Twitter for the latest flood updates.”
The hot weather will continue as we head towards the end of the week, with heatwave conditions persisting for many in the southern half of the UK. Away from the thunderstorms it will be a mainly dry and sunny. Temperatures today are expected to reach as 35C or 36C in parts of southern and central England, 34C on Thursday, before dipping slightly to the mid to high 20’sC for Friday and the weekend.
Overnight temperatures will also continue high for many with some areas staying over 20C throughout the night. Nights where the temperature, somewhere in the UK stays at 20C or above are called Tropical Nights. So far, this month we have seen 4 tropical nights 6th, 10th, 11th, and the 12th, there was also a Tropical Night on June 25th making 5 so far in 2020. Between 1961 and 1990 there were no less than 44 Tropical Nights, between 2008 and 2017 there were 12, five in 2018 and four in 2019.
The hot weather has resulted in Public Health England issuing heat health alerts for parts of England into next week. There are tips on staying cool in hot weather on the Met Office website. With strong summer sunshine at this time of year, UV levels will be high in some areas and you can check the UV forecast for your area here.
— Met Office (@metoffice) August 11, 2020
Friday saw 36.4C recorded at Heathrow and Kew Gardens, the hottest August day since 10th August 2003 (38.5C, Faversham), while 34.5C was recorded on Saturday and 34C on Sunday.
The highest temperature on record for the UK was 38.7C recorded at Cambridge Botanic Garden on the 25th July last year, while the hottest August day on record is 38.5C recorded at Faversham on 10th August 2003).
Heatwaves are extreme weather events, but research shows that climate change is making these events more likely. A scientific study by the Met Office into the Summer 2018 heatwave in the UK showed that it was 30 times more likely to occur now than in 1750 because of the higher concentration of carbon dioxide (a greenhouse gas) in the atmosphere. As greenhouse gas concentrations increase heatwaves of similar intensity are projected to become even more frequent, perhaps occurring as regularly as every other year. The Earth’s surface temperature has risen by 1°C since the pre-industrial period (1850-1900).
You can check the latest weather warnings on our severe weather warnings pages and you can get the most accurate and up to date forecast for your area using our forecast pages and by following us on Twitter and Facebook, as well as using our mobile app which is available for iPhone from the App store and for Android from the Google Play store.
Whatever the weather we are all being urged to remember the Government Coronavirus guidelines.