UK weather: Warnings issued over strong winds and thunderstormson August 2, 2023 at 11:31 am

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Gusts could reach over 60mph in the most exposed parts of the southern England coast, forecasters warn.

People walking in the rainImage source, PA Media

Severe weather warnings have been issued over strong winds and thunderstorms forecast in the UK.

Gusts could reach over 60mph in the most exposed parts of the southern England coast, the Met Office said.

Heavy showers and thunderstorms are expected in central and south-east England and Wales, with some locations facing 40mm of rain within a few hours.

The bad weather is being caused by an unseasonably deep area of low pressure for this time of year.

The yellow severe weather warning for wind on Wednesday, covering coastal southern England, is in force between 04:00 BST and 18:00.

The Met Office is warning of travel disruption, trees being damaged and seafront and coastal communities being affected by spray and large waves.

It forecast gusts reaching 50mph in the some English Channel coastal areas, 55 to 60mph in the most exposed locations in the far southwest, and possibly higher speeds in exposed parts of coastal southern England.

In central and south-east England and Wales, there is a yellow severe weather warning for thunderstorms from 09:00 to 20:00, with the possibility of some flooding.

Some damage to buildings from lightning strikes, short term loss of power, and train delays are expected, as well as standing water on roads.

Meanwhile, in parts of north-east England, a yellow severe weather warning has been issued for heavy rain and is in place from 11:00 and 20:00.

BBC Weather meteorologist and presenter Sarah Keith-Lucas explained the unseasonably wet and windy weather the UK was experiencing was due to a storm system the French Meteorological Department had named Patricia, which is crossing the UK.

She said: “Heavy thundery downpours are likely for Wales, the Midlands and southern England. These showers may bring large hail, and torrential rain, leading to a chance of localised flooding.

“The winds will be strong in the south, with gusts up to 60mph possible in the Bristol Channel and English Channel. Travel disruption and power cuts are possible due to the stormy weather, as well as large waves along the south coast.”

Elsewhere, she said heavy rain would move eastwards across Northern Ireland, northern England and southern Scotland throughout Wednesday.

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The wet weather has been bad news for holidaymakers enjoying the school holidays.

Lisa Vickery, owner of MacDonald’s Farm in Porthcothan, told BBC Radio Cornwall “quite a few” campers had left due to heavy rain, or cancelled at the last minute.

“I think everyone wakes up praying that today’s going to be a dry day, but we’ve never seen weather like this in the four years we’ve been here,” she said.

“Whether that will mean next year they might rethink coming down here for their summer holiday and go abroad, we could see next year this has an impact.”

Jo Rogers said her family were trying to make the best of their holiday at the campsite.

She said: “I think it’s more a case of survival now, trying to make it nice for the kids, finding good things to do, running into the tent when it rains again.”

Meanwhile on the Isle of Wight, Cowes Week – the world’s largest sailing regatta – cancelled all races on Wednesday due to the high winds forecast.

In Redcar, North Yorkshire, horse racing has been abandoned due to the weather.

Slow traffic in heavy rain on the M62 near Brighouse in West Yorkshire

Image source, PA Media

The RAC has warned motorists to slow down during challenging driving conditions.

Rod Dennis, a spokesperson for RAC, said: “Drivers attempting to drive through patches of standing water risk losing control, so the best course of action is to slow down and carefully avoid them whenever possible.

“As the wind will be especially strong along southern coasts, drivers towing caravans will need to be cautious, while those carrying items on the roof should make sure these are properly secured.”

Birmingham Airport, airline Jet 2 and train companies Avanti West coast, South Western Railway and Great Western Railway said their services were unaffected by the weather.

Wightlink, which runs ferries across The Solent between Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, said their service was running normally.

And what about Thursday? Met Office chief meteorologist Dan Suri said the low pressure will pull away eastwards from the UK during Wednesday evening and night, making for a calmer Thursday – although heavy showers could persist.

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