UK: Four days of thunderstorms to bring more danger British Herald
November 26, 2022

UK weather: Four days of thunderstorms to bring more danger and no relief

London(UK)- The UK is braced for several days of thunderstorms after a hot weekend which saw parts of the country grapple with wildfires – but the change in weather is likely to bring more danger rather than relief, meteorologists have warned.

A lack of rain and high temperatures have caused drought conditions which have turned much of the country’s landscape from green to brown and yellow.

An amber heat warning remained on Sunday, as temperatures stayed north of 30C in parts of the UK.

This warning has now ended, but temperatures on Monday could still reach 32C in some places before it starts to cool down.

South West Water is the latest water company to announce a hosepipe ban which will begin in Cornwall and parts of Devon from 23 August.

“It’s the first time in 26 years, but we’ve had no other choice. We need to have a hosepipe ban now to protect our precious water,” a company spokesman said.

“We’ve done our best to avoid this ban. We’ve increased the amount of water we can store, doubling it since the last drought in 1976.

“We’ve opened reservoirs, installed a new borehole, and improved how we can move water across the region to help keep everyone’s taps running.”

Over the past two days, significant fires have been reported in parts of London, Kent, and Essex. The weather has also resulted in people getting into difficulty while swimming in lakes, rivers, and the sea.

Fire and rescue services have been tackling an enormous number of wildfires around the country, especially in the South East, where there has been little rain at all since January.

One of Sunday’s major blazes, at Bawsey Country Park, near King’s Lynn, Norfolk, has been blamed on a disposable barbecue being “thrown” into woodland – resulting in the arrests of two men on suspicion of arson.

Several services have described the current demand as “unprecedented”, with Dorset reporting that during the first 10 days of August, it attended 180 wildfires – compared to just 34 last year.

And the four days of thunderstorms expected next week are not likely to offer much relief.

Instead, the driest conditions in almost 50 years, which have water levels in reservoirs visibly lower and drought officially declared in eight areas of England on Saturday, may lead to flooding.

The thunderstorms are likely to bring significant rainfall, but it may be too much too soon.

Geographers and meteorologists say that the best type of rain to bring the earth out of its parched state would be a light drizzle.

Instead of soaking into the baked ground, the downpours that are expected could lead to large amounts of surface run-off – potentially causing sudden flooding and even power cuts, the Met Office has warned.

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