Met Office weather warning issued as thunderstorms and flooding to hit North East

'Frequent lightning and hail' are expected throughout Sunday afternoon
-Credit: (Image: Met Office)

A weather warning has been issued for the entirety of the North East for thunderstorms across the region that could spark disruption today (Sunday, May 26).

A yellow warning has been put in place by the Met Office from 12pm until 8pm, with downpours forecast to spread across the region this afternoon. The warning covers Northumberland, Newcastle, Gateshead, North and South Tyneside, Durham and Sunderland, with "frequent lightning and hail" expected later in the day and heavy rain anticipated to lead to some flash flooding.

Forecasters have advised that spray and sudden flooding could lead to difficult driving conditions and road closures, and there is a small chance that homes and businesses could be flooded quickly, with damage to some buildings from floodwater and lightning strikes. Additionally, there is a small chance that some communities may become temporarily cut off by flooded roads.

The Met Office has also warned of potential delays and some cancellations to train and bus services where flooding and lightning strikes occur, as well as a slight chance that power cuts could occur and other services to some homes and businesses could be lost. With more thunderstorms forecast for the coming week, people have been advised to stay up to date with the weather forecast as further warnings could be issued.

The Met Office said that while rainfall will "vary significantly" across the country on Sunday, there is a possibility of 20-30 mm of rain falling in an hour or less. Drivers have been urged to check road conditions and amend their travel plans if necessary.

Looking ahead to bank holiday Monday (May 27), the heavy and thundery showers are expected to persist throughout the morning and become "increasingly widespread" by midday. By Monday afternoon, however, showers are forecast to become more isolated, making way for increasingly sunny conditions with highs of 17°C.

The week ahead has a similarly mixed bag in store, with cloud and rain arriving on Tuesday following a fine start, before yet more heavy thunderstorms set in on Wednesday and Thursday. Take a look at the hour-by-hour forecast for the bank holiday weekend here.