UK weather: Thunderstorms and torrential rain batter UK as drivers warned to avoid roads

A Met Office warning is in place for Northern Ireland on Sunday due to the risk of strong winds and hail.

Matt Drake
Sunday 09 July 2023 00:52 BST
Trapped driver rescued from car as flash flooding hits Liverpool

Parts of the UK have been battered by thunderstorms and torrential rain, with drivers in some areas being warned to avoid roads due to flash floods.

Showers and storms swept much of the country on Saturday, despite earlier predictions that temperatures could reach as high as 33C in some places.

Wimbledon and the Ashes Test match at Headingley in Leeds were both disrupted by the weather.

Rescue services were called to parts of the country when vehicles got stuck in flash flood water, such as in Liverpool and North Wales.

North Wales Police advised drivers to avoid the coast road in Flintshire, where roads were left underwater because of heavy rain.

Wrexham residents also shared photos of entire gardens submerged as locals were forced to put sandbags at their front doors.

The Met Office issued a yellow thunderstorm alert for most of England and Scotland which was in place from 9am until 11.59pm on Saturday.

Meanwhile, a separate thunderstorm warning has been issued for the whole of Northern Ireland for Sunday from 10am to 9pm.

Emergency services rescue a woman from her vehicle after it got stranded on a flooded road in Mossley Hill, Liverpool

Yellow storm warnings mean there is a chance homes and businesses could be flooded which could cause communities may be cut off while public transport faces disruption.

The RAC has urged people to avoid driving during the stormy weather. when conditions can “rapidly deteriorate”.

Rod Dennis from RAC said: "Driving conditions will rapidly deteriorate wherever these thundery showers break out – one moment the road will be dry, the next drivers will be faced with heavy rain, hail and potentially gusty winds as well.

"It’s therefore crucial drivers reduce their speed accordingly, leaving a larger gap between themselves and the vehicle in front.

"It’s also important to ensure car headlights and taillights are switched on – but not fog lights as these risk dazzling other drivers."

Cars drive through a flooded road after heavy rain in Speke, Liverpool

The Met Office warned that Scotland could see prolonged spells of heavy rain overnight into Sunday, and this could cause some localised disruption.

It is expected much of the rest of the country north of the border will remain dry overnight, however, with temperatures sitting between 17C and 19C across the east of England and between 14C and 15C in the west.

The unsettled weather is forecast to carry on this week

Greg Dewhurst, Met Office forecaster, said it would be a bright start for many on Sunday but heavy rain was still likely to return to the north-east and possibly the south-east of England too.

“But for many, through the day, it’s a case of sunny spells and scattered showers,” he said. “Some of the showers will be heavy, particularly over parts of Northern Ireland.”

Heavy showers are also expected to fall across Wales, the Midlands and south-west England on Sunday afternoon.

Spectators shelter under umbrellas during day three of the Ashes Series test match at Headingley

Temperatures are expected to stay a little lower compared to Saturday with highs of 25C and 26C in England.

Mr Dewhurst said: “Those showers continue to rumble on through Sunday evening, some heavy bursts possible but they do ease by the end of the day.

“And then, overnight, it’s generally dry for most with clear spells (and) just a scattering of showers, largely in the south and the west, just one or two across north-east Scotland as well.”

A bright start is then predicted for Monday for most parts of the UK with lots of sunny spells forecast but that is expected to be followed by spells of heavy rain in western parts.

Mr Dewhurst said: “We will see a risk an increasing risk of some heavy rain through western parts of the UK, a little bit of uncertainty over where this main band of rain will end up by Monday afternoon.

“Around it we’ll see a mixture of sunny spells and heavy showers. Some of these will be thundery for Northern Ireland parts of Scotland, too.

“The best of any sunnier breaks (will be) possible across eastern and south-east England and this is where we will see the highest temperatures, getting up to around 23C or 24C.”

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