Severe thunderstorms expected to hit Midlands as Met Office yellow warning in place

Thunder and lightening is expected across the Midlands Credit: PA Images

Temperatures soared to 34 degrees on Saturday and Sunday as the spate of sunny and hot weather continued across the UK, but now the country is expecting severe thunderstorms.

A yellow weather warning for thunderstorms is in place across the Midlands today.

The Met Office has issued the warning for Monday and Tuesday (August 15 and 16), and a third day in Southern regions but edging towards the southeastern parts of the Midlands.

The yellow warning is in place across the entire Midlands. It means weather forecasters have predicted thunder, lightning and flash flooding will be highly likely.

Travel disruptions, power cuts, and damage to homes have also been predicted by The Met Office.

Will I see a thunderstorm?

The Met Office issued a yellow warning for the following areas:

East Midlands

West Midlands

A yellow thunderstorm warning is in place for the Midlands Credit: The Met Office

What is the weather forecast in the Midlands?

ITV News Central Weather Presenter Des Coleman says the East Midlands will see "a number of showers pushing through from the west to the east, and are looking fairly potent, thundering as well," today and into tomorrow (August 16).

The weather is expected to be bright and hot at times with temperatures reaching around 30 degrees, however, heavy rain showers are still expected throughout the day.

The West Midlands will see "heavy showers" into the evening and Tuesday morning, some lasting over an hour as the yellow warning stays in place.

Hail and lightning could be seen if heavy and thundery showers continue. Temperatures drop slightly, with a maximum temperature of 27 degrees, feeling humid.

What are thunderstorms caused by?

Thunderstorms are caused by a change in air pressure causing it to become unstable, particularly when warm air exists before cooler air.

As warm air rises it cools down and produces moisture. It it is water vapour which will condense into small water droplets.

If hot air rises quickly, the air forms cumulonimbus clouds, a heavy multi-level cloud also known as a thundercloud.

The higher the hot air rises the bigger the droplets become, and the heavier they get, causing a bigger storm.

Larger droplets will combine as they circulate turning them to hail when they fall.

Dan Stroud, a meteorologist at the Met Office, has said the sudden change in weather is due to air pressure.

It comes after eight areas of England, including the East Midlands, were declared in drought on Friday (August 12) after seeing no rainfall in weeks.

The heatwave dried out areas of land, not only leaving them at risk of catching fire easily but also flash flooding, as dry ground takes much longer to absorb water.

Most people would think the forecast heavy rain showers would help the dry land but Mr Stroud said it is unlikely to help the drought.

He said: "We’ve had a number of days now where we’ve had clear, strong, clear skies and strong sunshine which has heated up the ground."

"As we’ve had some very high ground temperatures, it doesn’t actually take too much for the air to become even more unstable and for thundery showers to develop quickly."

How to stay safe in a thunderstorm:

The Met Office is urging people out in thunderstorms to act responsibly and plan ahead.

They suggest people:

  • Take shelter if they hear thunder, as lightning could strike

  • Avoid using landlines, unless it's an emergency, as telephone lines could conduct electricity

  • Take extra care when driving by keeping windows up, staying inside vehicles, and allowing extra space when overtaking cyclists

  • Avoid water if outside and find a low-lying open place away from trees, poles or metal objects, as lightning is more likely to hit taller objects.

  • Avoid outdoor activities such as golf and fishing

  • Do not lie on the ground outside but instead squat low to the ground if in an exposed area and cannot take shelter