Flash floods and thunderstorms to hit parts of UK

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Forecasters have said fresher conditions are expected from late Wednesday (17th August).

Flash flooding and thunderstorms are set to hit parts of the UK in the coming days, with high temperatures giving way to breezier conditions by the end of the week.

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Forecasters have said fresher conditions are expected from late Wednesday (17 August) after scorching temperatures hit most of the country over the weekend.

The Met Office issued a yellow thunderstorm warning for areas in Cornwall, Devon and Somerset, with the likely risk of flooding to homes and businesses, power outages and transport chaos.

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Amber warnings are also in place for most of the UK on Tuesday (16 August) and southern England on Wednesday.

What’s the prognosis for the rest of the week?

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Hail, frequent lightning and flash flooding are possible in areas further south, with heavy rain forecast across England and Wales on Tuesday (16 August). The rain is likely to be concentrated in southern parts of England.

Downpours are expected across Scotland on Tuesday but will gradually ease throughout the day while Northern Ireland is set to be the driest.

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Tuesday is expected to be “fairly cloudy with some patchy light rain” that would gradually clear in Northern Ireland.

Meanwhile, Wednesday’s forecast is mostly dry with an extended bright and sunny spell.

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Met Office meteorologist Greg Dewhurst said: “Temperatures will be lower, taking highs of around 27C as the high, but tomorrow (Tuesday) will still be humid.

“Thundershowers across central and southern England on Wednesday and temperatures will peak around 26C.”

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Which areas are affected by flooding?

Heavy showers caused flooding in areas of Cornwall and Devon on Monday afternoon while thunderstorms developed in east coast counties such as Essex, Suffolk and Lincolnshire.

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Footage shared on social media showed a roundabout near the river in Truro, Cornwall, which quickly flooded with water on Monday afternoon as the showers rolled in.

Heavy downpours and flooding have also hit parts of Ireland as thunderstorms marked the end of the heatwave.

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In Northern Ireland, thunderstorms on Sunday (14 August) prompted the Met Office to issue a yellow weather alert warning of hail, lightning and possible flooding – which ended Sunday evening.

Mr Dewhurst warned that the poor weather conditions could pose difficulties for those wishing to travel and urged people to keep themselves informed of developments in their area.

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He said: “Some very heavy showers will develop in the coming days, hail, frequent lightning, some flash floods are possible as we have seen in some places today. Therefore we advise to pay attention to the latest forecasts and local radio stations as well to get the latest information.

“It should be noted that travel disruptions or delays may occur.

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“By the end of the week it will be alternately quite windy with some showers, particularly in the north of the UK so temperatures will generally be around average for many, for the far south so the mid-20s could potentially be a little over-20s .

“It looks like it’s probably going to be fresher for everyone from late Wednesday through Thursday.”

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Why is there a risk of flooding?

Professor Hannah Cloke, an expert in hydrology at the University of Reading, explained why flooding is possible in drought areas.

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She said: “The floor is really dry and when it’s that dry it’s a bit like concrete and the water can’t get in so it just drains off.

“There’s the damage to homes and businesses that these floods can cause and the inconvenience of traffic disruption, but when it’s very heavy in a place it can also be very dangerous.”

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Explaining why this heavy rain won’t alleviate drought-affected areas, she said: “It’s really a drop in the bucket. It doesn’t penetrate the soil like we really need it to.

“We need it back into the system where it can be stored. We really need a long rainy winter to replenish that.”

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