UK weather: Thundery rain, flood alerts and severe weather warnings issued just in time for the weekend

But London and the south east can look forward to temperatures of up to 26C in between showery spells

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The Independent Online

Britain could face a soaking today with some areas expected to see nearly half of an entire month's rain fall in just an hour.

The Met Office has predicted thundery rain throughout this morning, with showers unlikely to ease off until the evening. A spokesperson described the downpours as "pretty heavy".

The Environment Agency has also said there is a "low risk" of flooding for most of the country.

Severe weather warnings have been issued across much of the country amid fears of flooding. Some areas could see between 0.8in (20mm) and 1.2in (30mm) of rain fall in an hour - almost half of the UK monthly average for the whole of June of 2.9in (73.4mm).

A spokesperson for the Met Office said: "We are looking at the potential for some localised flooding because they are potentially heavy enough that we could see so much rain fall in a short space of time that it can't drain away fast enough."

In contrast, London and the south east could see highs of 25C in between the showers, just short of the warmest temperature of the year so far, 26.3C.

John Curtin, director of incident management at the Environment Agency, said: "There is a low but increased risk of flooding this weekend across the whole of England, as isolated torrential downpours are predicted."

The predicted torrent of rain is a consequence of warm, humid air moving in from Europe which creates a risk of downpours when it mixes with cooler air over the UK.

However, the downpours are expected to ease by Sunday when there will be some "good, dry and bright spells", particularly in southern and eastern parts of the country and only a risk of light rain in some areas.

Additional reporting by Press Association