Thunderstorm warnings remained in place for most of the UK on Wednesday, as the intense hot spell in England showed no sign of abating.
A warm, sunny start greeted most parts, but humidity will build and bring with it randomly scattered storms, in a phenomenon known as “popcorn convection”.
The Met Office has issued a yellow storm warning for all of England and the eastern half of Scotland, with storms forecast, in particular, for the northwest, north Wales and the west midlands on Wednesday and Thursday.
A more serious amber warning is in place for eastern Scotland between Edinburgh, Inverness and Aberdeen, where fast-flowing or deep floodwater could cause danger to life.
Flash flooding and building damage from lightning strikes, floodwaters and hailstones are predicted, as well as delays to public transport, difficult driving conditions and possible road closures.
Steve Ramsdale, the chief meteorologist at the Met Office, said “exceptional rainfall totals could be seen of 60 millimetres in an hour with a very small chance of 150 millimetres of rainfall in three or four hours” in these areas.
The Environment Agency has also issued five flood alerts around Birmingham and 17 flood alerts remain in place across Scotland, with further heavy showers possibly causing more flooding in “mostly urban areas” of England until Friday. Some homes are expected to be affected.
Ten properties in Lancashire were hit by flooding on Tuesday after rainfall caused the Burrow Beck waterway in Scotforth, south Lancaster, to rise by almost a metre in less than three hours, the agency’s flood risk manager Andy Brown said.
However, the storms will do little to temper the heatwave as highs in the low- to mid-30s are expected in central and southern parts, with 31C forecast in London, Cambridge, Yeovil and Southampton.
The temperature cools somewhat moving northwards, easing to 22C in Newcastle and 19C in Aberdeen, but Leeds, Sheffield, Nottingham, Birmingham and Cardiff could still see 30C.
Another warm night lies ahead, but clouds and a breeze will lower the temperature for a cooler day for many on Thursday.