Torrential rain and thunderstorms forecast across England and Wales

Torrential rain and thunderstorms could hit parts of England and Wales, forecasters say.

After weeks of hot weather that has led to drought and parched land, the Met Office’s yellow thunderstorm warning for Wednesday is forecasting conditions with “20-30mm of rain possible within an hour”.

Communities in central, southern and eastern parts of England – and south-east Wales – could face flash flooding, as well as traffic disruptions and power outages.

They could be cut off by flooded roads, and the possibility of fast-moving or deep floodwaters could put lives at risk, the alert adds.

It said: “While some places will miss them, thunderstorms and areas of heavy rain will develop fairly widely on Wednesday across central, southern and eastern parts of England and south-east Wales.

“20-30mm of rain is possible within an hour, but where areas of thunderstorm rain are slow moving, some locations could see 60mm in under three hours.

“Some spots could see even more precipitation, while hail and lightning may pose additional hazards.”

The environmental agency had issued 29 flood warnings by Tuesday evening.

The heaviest downpours on Tuesday came in Spadeadam in Cumbria with 25.4mm of rain and Trengwainton House, Cornwall with 18.4mm, the Met Office said.

It came as authorities put Yorkshire on official drought status on Tuesday, after parts of south-west, south and central England and east England followed.

Footage and photos shared on social media showed torrential rain and flooding swept through towns in southern England and Wales including Newquay in Cornwall, Bishop’s Tawton in Devon, Haywards Heath in West Sussex, Port Talbot in South West Wales and Bridgeport in Dorset.

A Twitter user shared a video of flooding in Newquay and wrote: “I’ve never seen rain like this. Our street is flooding #Newquay.”

Another Twitter user in Bishop’s Tawton, North Devon, said: “Flooding (lightning floods) is causing the use of sandbags to prevent flooding in the house, despite recent flooding work by @EnvAgency, urgent need for solutions.”

ScotRail imposed speed restrictions on some routes on Tuesday, while Perth’s Network Rail said it was dealing with flooding at the station.

Wednesday is the fourth straight day of thunderstorm warnings across the UK, and communities in areas including Sussex, Kent and Hampshire braced for possible heavy downpours.

Met Office forecaster Simon Partridge said that “warm, muggy air could mean heavy thunderstorms developing” and “there could be some high levels of precipitation, especially if you see a few heavy thunderstorms coming one after the other”.

People in the northern regions are said to be able to enjoy a day that feels fresher, slightly cooler and mostly dry – with some sunshine.

Mr Partridge said: “The ground has baked so dry because of the heat and lack of rain for a few days.

“When the rain came, it hit completely dry ground and baked dry like concrete.

“It comes off as more traditional. If there’s some moisture in the ground, it’s much easier for it to soak up the rain that hits it.

“We’re probably having a higher runoff rate for the rain than usual.

“It’s almost like all the fields are paved because the water runs off them because so little of it got into the ground.” Torrential rain and thunderstorms forecast across England and Wales

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