UK weather: London hit by flash flooding amid torrential downpours

A weather warning for rain was in force across parts of southern England after heavy downpours sparked flash floods and travel disruption in London last night.

The Met Office has issued a yellow alert, which is in place until 3pm on Thursday, covering parts of the capital, Portsmouth, Brighton and Canterbury.

Forecasters said between 20-30mm of rain is expected “fairly widely” across the region, with up to 40mm in the worst affected areas.

The Met Office said persistent, sometimes heavy rain could impact roads again on Thursday.

Drivers navigate flooded roads in London (PA)
Drivers navigate flooded roads in London (PA)

Spray and flooding on roads could lengthen journey times and cause disruption to train and bus services. “Flooding of a few homes and businesses is possible,” the Met added.

Some train services were cancelled on Thursday morning. Southern Rail said it had pulled its Belmont service due to flooding. “Belmont will not have a train service due to flooding,” the operator said.

A video posted online showed a section of Finchley Road in northeast London partially submerged by water. Cars could be seen driving through the flooded road slowly following heavy rainfall.

Some Transport for London services have also been affected. There were severe delays on the London Overground service between Stratford and Richmond/Clapham Junction on Thursday morning and minor delays on the Piccadilly line between Acton Town and Uxbridge due to flooding.

Disruption is also expected on the District Line between Earlscourt and Ealing Broadway.

“You’ll need to use London Buses to complete your journey and you can use your ticket at no extra cost. “Please mention the reference ‘PrePay 140’ to the bus driver if asked.”

London Fire Brigade urged motorists and pedestrians to be cautious while out on the roads on Thursday morning.

Heavy downpours caused travel disruption in the captial last night (Getty Images)
Heavy downpours caused travel disruption in the captial last night (Getty Images)

“Don’t drive through floodwater, avoid trying to walk through it and don’t let children or pets play in it,” it said.

MeteoGroup said there would be variable amounts of cloud and a threat of showers across England and Wales during the evening and overnight, a few could be heavy and thundery on Thursday.

Scotland and Northern Ireland will be mainly dry with clear spells. Mostly light winds which will be brisk in the far north and far south.

The weather service said drier and brighter conditions are expected tomorrow with long spells of sunshine and just some patchy fair-weather cloud cover around.

A car navigates a flooded road in London (Getty Images)
A car navigates a flooded road in London (Getty Images)

There may be a few isolated showers developing and these are likely to be in the north and west.

A dry evening with clear spells follows with gentle north-westerly winds.

Saturday will be overcast and unsettled with thick cloud cover and heavy rain which will track south-eastwards but will turn increasingly light and patchy later.

Rain will be slow to clear across eastern areas on Sunday. Then mainly dry with sunny spells, variable cloud and a threat of showers.