UK weather: Flash floods and thunderstorms to give way to breezy conditions by end of week

Emergency services respond to floodwaters in Wales as rain and stormy conditions begin spreading across the UK

Flash floods and thunderstorms over the coming days following the heatwave will give way to breezier weather by the end of the week, forecasters have said.

Parts of Wales were hit by flash floods and torrential rain on Tuesday, with some areas of the country even expecting to see hail as the chiller weather swept in.

Video footage shot by WalesOnline photographer John Myers on Tuesday shot footage shortly before 3pm in Talbot Road, Port Talbot, showing the severity of the downpour.

He said: "The rain is coming down so hard... In some parts the flood water is coming up to my knees. Roads have been turned into rivers with many businesses flooded."

Video footage shot by WalesOnline photographer John Myers on Tuesday afternoon (August 16) shows torrential rain in Port Talbot and Swansea

The rain hitting Wales on Tuesday is expected to become more concentrated in southern parts of England later.

Fresher conditions are expected to spread across the rest of the UK from late Wednesday, after scorching temperatures over the weekend were quickly followed by heavy downpours and ongoing humidity.

Yellow thunderstorm warnings are also in place for England and Wales on Tuesday and for southern England on Wednesday.

It comes after weeks of little rain and warm conditions have caused droughts across parts of the UK, leaving land parched.

Residents were urged to stay at home after a town in Lincolnshire was hit by flash floods.

Torrential rain fell in Market Rasen on Tuesday evening, submerging roads and leaving cars underwater and residents battling to protect their homes.

Streets were submerged in Market Rasen. Credit: George Coopland

The National Drought Group on Friday moved parts of the South West, southern and central England, and the east of England into official drought status – while six water companies have already or are planning to impose hosepipe bans.

And Yorkshire officially entered drought status on Tuesday, after months of little rainfall led to exceptionally low river flows and reservoir levels.

Heavy showers caused flooding in areas of Cornwall and Devon on Monday afternoon while thunderstorms developed in east-coast counties like Essex, Suffolk and Lincolnshire.

Downpours are expected across Scotland on Tuesday but will gradually clear as the day goes on, while Northern Ireland will be the driest.

Met Office meteorologist Greg Dewhurst said: “Temperatures will be lower, looking at highs of around 27C as a maximum temperature, but it will still be on the humid side tomorrow (on Tuesday).

“Thundery showers across central and southern parts of England on Wednesday and temperatures will be around 26C as a maximum.”

Mr Dewhurst warned that the bad weather conditions could pose difficulties for those hoping to travel and urged people to stay up to date with developments in their local area.

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To Know

“We’ll see some very heavy showers develop over the coming days, hail, frequent lightning, some flash flooding is possible like we’ve seen in places today so our advice is to stay tuned to latest forecasts and local radio stations as well, to get the latest information,” he said.

“It is worth being aware that there could be disruptions or delays to travel.”

He added: “It will be in turns fairly breezy as we end the week, with some showery rain, particularly across the north of the UK, so temperatures generally around average for many but could possibly be a bit above for the far south, which is the mid-20s.

“It looks probably most likely from late Wednesday to Thursday onwards it will become fresher for everyone.”

Flooding in Market Rasen. Credit: Kirstie Marie Sinclair/Facebook

Earlier, Professor Hannah Cloke, an expert in hydrology at the University of Reading, explained why there is the potential for floods in drought-hit areas.

She said: “The ground is really dry and when it is so dry it acts a little bit like concrete and that water can’t get in so it drains straight off.

“There is the damage to homes and businesses these floods can cause, and inconvenience with transport disruptions, but if it is very heavy in one place it can also be very dangerous.”

Explaining why this heavy rain will not alleviate drought-hit areas, she said: “It’s a drop in the ocean really. It is not soaking into the soil which is how we really need it. We need it back into the system where it can be stored.

“We really need a long winter of rain to replenish this.”