Abrupt end to heatwave with unsettled weekend ahead

Thunderstorms are expected to bring torrential rain to parts of the UK with lightning and hail also predicted.

The UK experienced its hottest day of the year so far on Thursday, with the mercury rising to 33.4C (92.12F) at Heathrow Airport in west London.

Thousands of people flocked to beaches, causing a major incident to be declared in Bournemouth and Government experts warning people against gathering in large groups, MirrorOnline reports.

Scotland and Wales also experienced their hottest days of the year so far, with the former recording 30.8C (87.4F) in Prestwick, and the latter seeing temperatures rise to 31.4C (88.5F) in Trawsgoed, near Aberystwyth.

Met Office chief meteorologist, Dan Suri said: “We quite often see warm, southerly air from the continent bringing these high temperatures to the UK in summer, however this week, the air across the UK has arrived from the Atlantic.

“This Atlantic air will descend and warm up as it moves across the UK and this in combination with clear skies and strong late-June sunshine, we’re seeing temperatures rise.”

However, change is on the way. The Met Office has warned Friday’s storms could bring lightning, hail and flooding to some areas, with up to 50mm of rain falling in an hour.

The storms are expected to continue from midday on Friday through to Saturday morning, with a yellow warning in place for most of England, Scotland and east Wales from midday to 9am on Saturday.

The south-west and part of the south-east coast of England is not covered by the warning.

Met Office meteorologist Craig Snell told the PA news agency: “Not everyone will see a storm, but if you catch one, you will certainly know about it.”

Met Office forecast for next few days

Today

Early showers and thunderstorms in western and southern parts extending north and east with some torrential downpours, lightning and a chance of hail. There will be sunny spells in between. Remaining very warm in the west but still hot and humid across much of England.

Tonight

Humid with thunderstorms in central, northern and eastern UK continuing northeastwards with further torrential downpours. Some further showers or rain, though less torrential, moving into southwest UK later.

Saturday:

Early heavy rain and residual thunderstorms across the far northeast clearing slowly. Otherwise, showers or spells of rain and a few sunny spells. Breezy and cooler than of late.

Outlook for Sunday to Tuesday

Turning fresher and breezier though remaining unsettled with showers or longer spells of rain for many, the heaviest and most frequent of these expected for northern and northwestern areas.

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