1. ITV Report

'Ex Bertha' may not hit the UK - but be braced for heavy rains

East Anglia and the south-east may soon be in for some heavy rain. Photo: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire/Press Association Images

It’s that time of year again – Hurricane Season!

Hurricanes - also known as 'typhoons' in the Pacific and 'tropical cyclones' in the Indian Ocean - are massive revolving tropical or sub-tropical storms that can reach up to 1000km across and are, essentially, caused by very low pressure.

They bring torrential rain and winds of between 118kph and 250kph with gusts exceeding 300kph!

Predicting and tracking them is crucial and is a combined effort from many meteorological organisations including The Met Office and The National Hurricane Centre, with spirals of cloud making it easy to identify hurricanes on satellite imagery.

Each hurricane is given a male and female name alternatively to help identify and therefore track each system most effectively.

Hurricane Sandy wrought havoc on the eastern seaboard of the United States in 2012. Credit: ABACA/ABACA/Press Association Images

Particularly affecting the Caribbean and the southeast coast of America in August and September (aka Hurricane Season), hurricanes are triggered by the sea temperature reaching 27C.

In the rare event that they travel beyond 30 degrees north or south, they decay to a less ferocious (though still highly significant) area of low pressure which occasionally make landfall across the UK - in these instances they will be referred to as ex-Hurricane Bertha or ex-Tropical Storm Bertha for example.

Much talk currently abounds about the possibility of Hurricane Bertha making landfall across the UK over the coming weekend.

It's currently lying off the north east coast of the US and is expected to be downgraded to ex-Tropical Storm Bertha tomorrow.

There is still some uncertainty regarding the track of the system but current forecasting models give a 50:50 chance that 'ex Bertha' will track either across central areas on Sunday giving strong winds and heavy rain or pass just to the south of the UK which would largely would limit the bad weather to northern France for the second half of the weekend.

It is with more certainty, however, that we can expect some very heavy, possibly thundery rain across East Anglia and the far south east on Friday.

This rain has nothing to do with Bertha but is looking to be heavy enough for the Met Office to have issued a weather warning (Friday: 12pm to 9pm) for heavy rain, particularly throughout the afternoon with up to 50mm locally, thus increasing the risk of localised flooding and tricky driving conditions.

As always, it's advisable to keep up to date with the latest forecasts on this developing situation.

So, make the most of the largely fine and settled conditions tomorrow, the weather is likely to be pretty unsettled for many of us from the end of the week.