Intense thunderstorms and showers could cause further flooding and travel misery in the next few days across southern and eastern areas of England, forecasters have warned.
After more than a month’s worth of rain fell in a day on Monday, swamping roads and railway lines the clean up efforts may be hampered by further downpours.
Two sinkholes opened up on the the M25 near junctions 4 and 5 near Orpington in Kent, forcing it to partly close on Monday night as torrential rain lashed the southeast.
After one or two brighter spells on Tuesday, the downpours are poised to start again.
Commuters in the Midlands and northeast England have been warned to expect “heavy, prolonged rainfall” and potential disruption to journeys in the coming hours.
A persistent band of rain will then edge into northern England, parts of Scotland, Wales and perhaps Northern Ireland on Wednesday, while the South remains wet, Met Office forecasters said.
Parts of the country could be hit by double their average rainfall for the month of June this week, with temperatures below average for the time of year.
The Environment Agency has issued 36 flood alerts across the country. These mean floods could be possible.
A flood warning – meaning flooding is expected – has been put in place in Lincolnshire.
Some parts of the UK could be hit with thunder and up to 80mm of rain, and possibly even 100mm or more later this week, forecasters said.
Alex Burkill, a Met Office meteorologist, described the figures as the “worst-case scenarios” but added that people needed “to be aware that we’re in for some treacherous weather”.
He said: “If you add it all up some places are likely to see over 100mm this week, which is around double the average they would get in the whole of June."
Residents are being told to avoid low-lying footpaths near local watercourses and plan driving routes to avoid low-lying roads near rivers that could flood.
Sunshine will not return until Friday, when it will come with further showers, the Met Office said.
Additional reporting by Press Association
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