Weather warning: Britain braces itself for worst weekend of the year to be on the roads

Severe weather warning as 'torrential rain' disrupts holiday getaway traffic for millions

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The Independent Online

Britain’s fiercest heatwave since the summer of 2006 may have subsided, but that doesn’t mean the weather is going to give us an easy ride from now on.

As millions of holidaymakers head for coasts, ferry terminals and airports, the AA has predicted that this weekend will be the worst of the year for traffic.

And while that is all people will have to deal with if they can get away on Friday evening or Saturday morning, for those less fortunate travellers there is also a severe weather warning in place from midday tomorrow onwards.

Thunderstorms are coming, heading up from the continent and combining with strong winds to spread out across almost the whole of England by Saturday evening.

The Met Office has issued a “yellow” alert, and said: “The public should be aware of the risk of localised disruption to travel, due to surface water flooding and lightning strikes.”

The “torrential rain” is set to cause chaos on the busy roads, and it follows on from seven Environment Agency warnings of flooding across most of the country yesterday.

While some of us will at least enjoy a fine Saturday morning before the “perfect storm” of traffic and weather sets in, it’s not the case for everyone.

The Met Office said: “The start time of this warning has been brought forward to cater for the risk of localised disruption associated with the heavy overnight rain moving north across parts of Northern Ireland, north-west England and south-west Scotland.”

Rachel Vince, a forecaster for MeteoGroup, said: “We could see a repeat of the thunder and lightning seen recently,” adding that by Sunday popular holiday destinations in the south west could be “at risk”.

“This is the biggest getaway weekend of the summer,” a spokesperson for the AA told The Telegraph.

“Rain will only make things worse,” the AA said. “It will slow things down and then there is the problem of some people driving too fast and slamming on the brakes.

“Bad weather and tired drivers don’t really mix very well.”

With the roads clogged up and English beaches washed out, people may be hoping for the heat to return sooner than expected.