Sunshine and showers forecast for UK after heavy downpours

After storms and flooding, the UK can look forward to 'more typical' summer weather, says the Met Office

Some relief from the extremes of heat and rain, and a return to summer as usual, are expected in London. Getty
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After intense heat and torrential rain in recent days, the UK is set for a mix of sunshine and showers.

The Met Office said “more typical” summer weather is in store after days of amber and yellow thunderstorm warnings for much of the country.

Between Sunday and Wednesday, the UK had 26,718 lightning strikes – more than half of all UK lightning strikes (49,439) in the past 12 months.

This week’s thunderstorms produced torrential downpours in parts, leading to surface-water flooding and travel disruption, with much of the rainwater unable to sink into the hard-baked ground.

“It will be comfortable for most of the UK compared to the extreme heat we have been experiencing," said Meteorological Office forecaster Craig Snell.

“Any rain that does fall from the sky will generally be much lighter than it has been.

“It will be a mixture of sunshine and showers, with the majority of the showers across the northern half of the country over the next few days.”

High Beech in Essex had the most rainfall with 64.4 millimetres, reached during a three-hour downpour on Wednesday.

The Met Office said Holbeach in Lincolnshire had double its usual August usual rainfall for the region overnight from Tuesday into Wednesday, with 138.8mm.

Thunderstorms and heavy rain bring Britain's heatwave to an end - in pictures

Storms on Wednesday flooded some of London’s transport stations and streets, while England’s Test match against South Africa at Lord’s cricket ground drew to an early close.

Some shops and platforms at central London’s busy Victoria Station were forced to shut temporarily after flooding at the main entrance led to a deluge of water running down a slope towards the eastern concourse.

Town hall officials in Hackney warned residents that “severe flooding” meant they should avoid Stoke Newington in the east London borough, and said they were working to clear drains and distribute sandbags.

Nottinghamshire County Council said at least 30 homes and businesses in the region were hit by downpours and a 2.5 metre-wide sinkhole reportedly appeared in a Matalan car park.

There will be early rain on Friday, which may be heavy for some, across south-east England, the Met Office said, with much of England and Wales possibly enjoying warm, sunny spells.

It may be breezy, but sunshine and scattered showers are expected for Northern England and Scotland on Friday.

Heavy rain causes flooding in parts of the UK - in pictures

Thames Water, which supplies 15 million people, this week said it would put a hosepipe ban in place next week.

Despite the recent rain, the company said water levels in its reservoirs were “much lower than usual”, with the ban in effect from August 24.

The firm joins Welsh Water, Southern Water and South East Water in implementing bans, with South West Water and Yorkshire Water following on August 23 and 26 respectively.

That means more than 29.4 million customers across the UK will be prohibited from using hosepipes by the end of next week.

Last month was the driest July in England for 50 years and the driest first half of the year since 1976, while a heatwave sent temperatures in the UK to above 40ºC for the first time on record.

Soaring temperatures and lack of rain leaves parts of UK parched - video

Soaring temperatures and lack of rain leaves parts of UK parched

Soaring temperatures and lack of rain leaves parts of UK parched

But the Environment Agency said it would take weeks of rain to replenish water supplies and end the drought.

“We have a typical summer weekend coming up," Mr Snell said.

“It is going to be a changeable week and we can expect some more rain in places, chiefly in the north but with temperatures nearer to where they should be rather than in the 30ºCs that we had last week.”

That could mean temperatures of about 19ºC in Scotland and about 25ºC in south-east England by the weekend.

There could be sunshine and showers across the north on Friday and, after a wet start in the south-east of England, the region is set to have a fine and dry day.

Mr Snell said the recent downpours caused disruption but were “hit and miss” in terms of the areas it affected.

“I imagine for some people the rain is a nuisance but for others, I imagine they will have a smile on their face, because even though we have had some torrential downpours in places, there are still some parts in the UK that still have not seen a lot of rain,” he said.

Updated: August 18, 2022, 9:49 PM