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Thunderstorms sweep Britain as the three-day deluge begins


Thunderstorms and torrential downpours will hit the UK in a three-day flood, hampering British weekend break plans and causing widespread travel disruptions.

The Met Office issued a yellow thunderstorm warning for much of England and Wales on both Saturday and Sunday – just as thousands of holidaymakers have returned from France after the country was put on the UK's quarantine list.

This week saw soaring temperatures before the night owls were forced to pack away their grills as storms set in.

While southern England peaked at 32 ° C (90 ° F) on Thursday, four inches of “biblical rain and hail” were dumped on Wales and an A&E division in Gloucester had to be evacuated in the pouring rain.

And the bad weather will only continue with floods that may result in road closures, while extreme weather can damage buildings and cause power outages and breakdowns in train and bus services.

Forecasters also expect the weekend to be much cooler after a week of hot and humid weather, with highs in the mid-twenties.

The Met Office issued a yellow thunderstorm warning for much of England and Wales on Saturday and Sunday – just as thousands of holidaymakers have returned from France after the country was put on the UK's quarantine list

The south of England and Wales are likely the wettest areas, according to the Met Office, with frequent lightning, gusty winds and heavy rainfall with 30-40mm of rain in less than an hour.

The Environment Agency has issued five flood warnings in the West Midlands.

Frank Saunders, chief meteorologist for the Met Office, said: “As of Monday, thunderstorm warnings will cover much of England and Wales, with parts of southern England and South Wales seeing the greatest likelihood of impact.

“The storms won't affect all areas, but where they do happen there are frequent lightning strikes, gusty winds, and intense, heavy downpours with 30 to 40 millimeters of rain that can be done in less than an hour and a small chance in some unfortunate places of 60 mm in a short time.

"Given the continued hot weather, large parts of the UK remain at risk of thunderstorms and potentially the effects of heavy rain until early next week."

Spokesman Oli Claydon added, "The fairly high temperatures overnight means a fairly tight, muggy feeling, consistent with thunderstorms forecast through Monday.

“In some areas there can be up to 40-50 mm (1½-2in) of rain in two to three hours (today), with 50-70 mm (2-2½in) possible in three hours on Sundays.

A shopping trolley is seen in a flooded car park after heavy rain in Hertford, Hertfordshire, when a car stops before entering the pool yesterday

A shopping trolley is seen in a flooded car park after heavy rain in Hertford, Hertfordshire, when a car stops before entering the pool yesterday

The M25 was brought to a standstill on Thursday by floods, with only one being slightly treacherous counterclockwise and forcing a BMW driver to park his car clockwise

The M25 was brought to a standstill by floods on Thursday, with only one being slightly treacherous counterclockwise and forcing a BMW driver to park his car clockwise

After a night of storms, people were walking in heavy rain and fog in Dunsden, Oxfordshire on Friday morning

After a night of storms, people were out in heavy rain and fog on Friday morning in Dunsden, Oxfordshire

People sheltering from the rain on Wimbledon Common on Thursday after many days of high temperatures under umbrellas. The forecast is for cooler weather with thunderstorm warnings and flash floods

People protecting from the rain on Wimbledon Common on Thursday after many days of high temperatures under umbrellas. The forecast is for cooler weather with thunderstorm warnings and flash floods

Thunderstorms and heavy rain hit parts of the south of England, forcing parts of the M25 and M23 to close on Thursday for safety reasons

Thunderstorms and heavy rain hit parts of the south of England, forcing parts of the M25 and M23 to close on Thursday for safety reasons

"At the moment there are ongoing thunderstorm warnings until Monday."

The prospects for Saturday should be good in the west, but with thick clouds from the North Sea in the northeast, the Met Office said.

Mr. Claydon added, “In this type of weather it is important to keep an eye on the forecast as it can change very quickly.

“The nature of the thunderstorms makes it difficult to pinpoint exactly where. We can expect them anywhere in these yellow warning areas. "

Neil Davies, Flood Duty Manager at the Environmental Protection Agency, said, “Isolated thunderstorms can cause sudden surface water and river flooding, which in some areas can result in flooded properties and severe travel disruptions. Further surface water and river floods are possible until Sunday. & # 39;

The weather will be an extra kick in the teeth for the thousands of Britons who made an insane rush down the canal last night to get home before the government's 14-day quarantine kicked in at 4 a.m.

On Friday morning, a misty, hazy start began after a night of storms over farmland in the Oxfordshire countryside

On Friday morning, a misty, hazy start began after a night of storms over farmland in the Oxfordshire countryside

Conditions were treacherous on the A14 near Cambridge on Thursday as heavy rain and dark skies made driving dangerous

Conditions were treacherous on the A14 near Cambridge on Thursday as heavy rain and dark skies made driving dangerous

As of 4 a.m., all people arriving from France must be quarantined for 14 days after the country reported an increase in coronavirus cases.

The hour 11 move wreaked havoc for an estimated 500,000 British vacationers in France – including a couple who had spent £ 1,000 on Eurostar business class seats and a family who drove home for 12 hours.

A mother had to leave two of her children with her husband when she fled France on the last Eurostar train.

The woman, who had to return to the UK due to her job before the quarantine began, could only get tickets for herself and her baby.

She now fears that her two daughters – who will return on Monday – will not be out of quarantine when their school returns.

The woman, who did not reveal her name, told Sky News: "This completely ruined our summer. I do not know what to do now. I am so upset about it. & # 39;

There are also fears that the new rules will result in thousands of children missing the start of the school year as students who do not return to the UK by Tuesday night will still be self-isolating at home when the majority of schools return in September 2 .

With limited capacity for flights, ferries and the Eurotunnel, many have no choice but to stay in France – or pay high prices for some of the remaining tickets.

Some tourists were given less time to avoid quarantine after the Scottish and Welsh governments called for the rules to be put in place the day before.

In the meantime, France is likely to impose quarantine restrictions on people arriving from the UK starting Monday, which means UK travelers will have to self-isolate upon arrival there as well.

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