What a washout! Huge hailstorm hits parts of London

A man walks along the Harrow Road, west London, during as hail storm

A huge hailstorm swept across parts of London on Tuesday leaving anyone unlucky enough to get caught in its path feeling thoroughly soaked.

The sudden downpour turned roads and pavements white and left Londoners running for cover.

Forecasters warned parts of the country would be lashed with torrential weather this week.

This month could be one of the wettest Mays on record, surpassing 1967, when 131.7mm of rain fell across the UK.

Last year the country experienced its sunniest spring and driest May since records began.

Met Office forecaster, Sarah Kent, said that “changing climates” make changeable conditions and weather extremes “more likely”.

But she said it was “too early” to predict if this month will be the wettest May on record.

Sarah Kent said: “Over the next few days, large parts of the UK will see showery conditions with occasional torrential downpours, thunderstorms and hail.

“Drivers should be very careful as quite a bit of rainfall could lead to some problems on the roads.

“I’d say it’s going to be very unsettled, as some areas will see some sunshine, and be relatively warm, while it’ll be chilly for those who see torrential rain.”

Temperatures in London and southern England will reach highs of 17C (62.6F).

However, a deep area of low pressure will “hurtle” in from the west on Thursday.

Sarah Kent added: “Wednesday will be the most favourable day of the week, but will be a quiet lull before a potent low pressure system arrives from the Atlantic bringing with it unseasonably strong winds and severe gales.

“Parts of the country could see weather warnings come in, as the winds and showers will hit large swathes of the country, particularly in western areas.

“Anyone planning outdoor gatherings should certainly keep an eye out for significant, windy weather and be sure to monitor the Met Office website for any warnings.”