Thunderstorms could bring more flooding to parts of UK, forecasters warn

Thunderstorms are expected to hit parts of the UK with a risk of more flooding following a weekend of heavy rain, forecasters have warned.

The Met Office has issued a yellow weather warning for thunderstorms across much of the South West and Wales for Tuesday with the risk of floods, lightning strikes, hail and strong winds.

Forecasters said that while the ongoing band of heavy rain will clear on Monday, a second band of low pressure will hit the country on Tuesday.

Met Office meteorologist Mark Wilson said parts of the South West and Wales will see heavy downpours and could get between 30mm and 40mm of rain.

The average rainfall for the region in July is 81mm, he added.

Mr Wilson said: “An area of low pressure will bring the risk of quite heavy thundery showers into Tuesday.

“There’s definitely a risk of flooding.

“Thunderstorms are a concern – there could be as much as 30mm to 40mm of rain. That’s quite a lot of rain flowing in quite a short period of time.”

The Met Office also warned there could be delays and cancellations to trains and buses as well as difficult driving conditions and road closures due to the storms.

The new warning follows a weekend of heavy downpours with half a month’s worth of rain falling across parts of the UK leading to travel disruption and floods.

A yellow weather warning for rain was in place across parts of the Midlands, the North West of England, Northern Ireland and south-west Scotland on Sunday.

Forecasters said that parts of the North West had seen 40mm to 50mm of rain in about 24 hours, with 52.2mm recorded between 11am on Saturday and 11am on Sunday at Greenfield near Oldham.

The Met office said that the monthly average rainfall for the North West in July was 89.5mm.

The Environment Agency had issued 30 flood warnings on Sunday evening, the majority in the North West region, and urged people to avoid swollen rivers and not to drive through flood water.

Cars make their way through standing water on the A47 near Peterborough
Cars make their way through standing water on the A47 near Peterborough (Joe Giddens/PA)

Parts of the North West were hit with floods with cars left almost fully submerged.

Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) on Sunday evening said there were 11 flood warnings across the city region which required “immediate action” following the torrential showers.

Group manager Mark Threader urged people concerned about flooding to contact their council’s emergency line unless the situation is life-threatening or there are fears for someone else’s safety.

He added: “It has been a busy weekend for GMFRS and our crews have worked extremely hard, spending a great deal of time clearing water from communities struggling with the bad weather.

“However, like any emergency service our focus has to be on helping those most in need.

“Local councils have trained and experienced staff, with highways agencies particularly good at responding to reports of blocked drains which might be a cause of flooding.

“If you are concerned about instances of flooding and wish to speak to someone then please contact your council in the first instance, unless you are experiencing an emergency situation in which case dial 999 and request fire.”

Greater Manchester Police on Sunday morning tweeted a picture of a Lamborghini which it said had crashed into the side of the road after its driver lost control on standing water.

The force said: “The driver of this Lamborghini lost control on standing water and took out a section of barrier before making off on foot prior to police arrival.

“A very expensive mistake… They don’t make very good boats! Vehicle recovered and enqs [sic] ongoing.”

Flooding was also reported on train tracks between Manchester Victoria and Southport, with rail users warned to expect delays on Sunday morning.

But a Northern Rail spokesman said that while the flooding had been reported at about 8am the line was reopened about 10.30am.

Passengers using Gatwick Airport were also warned to check the latest travel information before they fly due to the extreme weather conditions across Europe.

On Sunday morning, Gatwick said: “We aim to run a normal schedule today, however due to ongoing adverse weather across Europe, passengers are advised to check with their airlines for the latest information.”

Firefighters were called to Loughborough Road in Mountsorrel, Leicestershire, just after 8am on Sunday to reports that rising water was threatening a number of properties.

Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service told PA that two bungalows and a block of flats were evacuated while crews pumped water out of the affected homes and gardens.

The wet weather comes after a week in which Britain was hit by hot temperatures and thunderstorms, with the heatwave causing problems for train and air passengers.