UK weather: Warning of ‘danger to life’ as thunderstorms strike most of the country

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Thunderstorms are predicted to hit significant portions of the UK this afternoon, with a caution that flooding in certain areas could pose a “danger to life.”

The Met Office has issued several yellow weather warnings across the country, signaling the end of Britain’s warm spell.

While not everyone in the warned areas will experience a thunderstorm, it’s recommended that all individuals be ready for the adverse weather conditions.

Thunderstorms are currently affecting western and central Northern Ireland, as well as parts of Wales and western and central England.

The heavy showers are likely to result in challenging driving conditions, power outages, and potential flooding.

Check the weather forecast in your area

Grab from Met Office 12/5
The Met Office’s yellow weather warnings for Sunday. Pic: Met Office

The Met Office has stated: “Flooding of homes and businesses could occur rapidly, leading to damage to structures from floodwater, lightning strikes, hail, or strong winds.

“Fast-flowing or deep floodwater may pose a risk to life.”

Scotland experienced storms on Sunday afternoon, with a yellow weather warning stretching from southern Scotland to the Central Belt, as well as the Highlands and Islands.

The Met Office has advised the Scottish public: “There is a slight chance of fast-flowing or deep floodwaters posing a risk to life.”

Heavy showers and thunderstorms in Northern Ireland are anticipated to cease around 7 pm, and around 11 pm in England and Wales.

The adverse weather is expected to persist in Scotland until 3 am on Monday.

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The thunderstorms may bring the UK’s warm spell to a dramatic close – following Saturday, which recorded as the hottest day of the year.

Sky News weather producer Joanna Robinson remarked: “A thundery breakdown is expected on Sunday afternoon, however, many eastern areas of Britain will remain dry and sunny.

“The Met Office has issued multiple thunderstorm warnings, pinpointing the areas at risk of severe weather.

“Please note that not all locations within the warning zone will experience a thunderstorm.

“In case these storms do occur, they may bring heavy rain, large hail up to 2cm, strong winds, and frequent lightning, potentially causing localized disturbances.

“It will be another warm afternoon for most, with temperatures possibly reaching 27C or 28C in southeast England.

“This would mark the highest temperature of the year so far in the UK, surpassing Saturday’s 25.9C at Herstmonceux.

“The following week is anticipated to be cooler and more unsettled, but there will be intervals of pleasant sunshine.”

Read more from Sky News:
Global temperature streak continues with record hot April
London must adapt to ‘new reality’ as number of days over 30C rises

Stay safe in thunder and lightning

Before the thunderstorm:
• Lightning can cause power surges, so unplug any non-essential appliances if not already using a surge protector.
• Seek shelter if possible. When you hear thunder you are already within range of where the next ground flash may occur. Lightning can strike as far as 10 miles away from the centre of a storm.

During the thunderstorm:
• Telephone lines can conduct electricity so try to avoid using the landline, unless in an emergency.
• If outside, avoid water and find a low-lying open place that is a safe distance from trees, poles or metal objects.
• Be aware of metal objects that can conduct or attract lightning, including golf clubs, golf buggies, fishing rods, umbrellas, motorbikes, bicycles, wheelchairs, mobility scooters, pushchairs, wire fencing and rails. If you are in a tent, try to stay away from the metal poles.
• If you find yourself in an exposed location, it may be advisable to squat close to the ground with your hands on your knees and your head tucked between them. Try to touch as little of the ground with your body as possible. Do not lie down on the ground.
•If you feel your hair stand on end, drop to the above position immediately.

After the thunderstorm:
• Avoid downed power lines or broken cables.
•If someone is struck by lightning, they often suffer severe burns. The strike also affects the heart, so check if they have a pulse.

Driving in a thunderstorm:
• If you are caught out in thunder and lightning, it is advised that you wind up the windows and stay inside your car. In the vast majority of cars with a metal roof and frame, the frame will act as a conductive Faraday cage, passing the current around the passengers inside and on to the ground.
• Soft-top convertibles, with their fabric roofs, are the most at risk and could catch fire if struck by lightning.
• Be aware that current can travel through other parts of many modern cars, including GPS and radio systems. Cars with metal interior handles, foot pedals and steering wheels can also carry current.
• Cars can be damaged both internally and externally by lightning strikes.
• Thunderstorms can also bring a risk of sudden gusty winds. Those most at risk would include cyclists, motorcyclists and high-sided vehicles.
• Remember to give vulnerable road users including cyclists, motorcyclists and pedestrians more room than usual.
• Keep your speed down. Lowering your speed will lower the distance you travel when buffeted around by the wind.
• Hailstorms can be extremely dangerous to drive in – reducing your ability to see and be seen, as well as causing damage to your vehicle. If hail is severe, stop and pull over to a safe place and remain inside the vehicle.

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