Heatwave warning: When thunderstorms will hit parts of UK this weekend as Met Office says 31C possible

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The sun may be shining across most parts of the UK but thunderstorms could be on the way for many, says the Met Office

It may be hotter than Ibiza in some places across the UK today, but the Met Office has warned thunderstorms could be on the way for some locations. With heat health alerts issued for most parts throughout this weekend, rain could hit today to cool things down.

The forecaster says a plume of warm air will raise temperatures today - with some parts set to see 31C - and increase the risk of thundery showers. The area of high pressure which has been responsible for the last couple of weeks of settled weather for much of the UK will drift away towards Scandinavia, a spokesperson said, allowing a plume of warmer, humid air from the south to influence the weekend weather for much of the UK.  

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This could result in thundery showers on Saturday afternoon and Sunday, which could include hail, gusty winds and torrential downpours in some places - but not all. A warning has been issued covering Wales, as well as central and southern England from 2pm until 10.30pm on Saturday. That warning was updated on Saturday morning to include more places.

A spokesperson said the warning area had been extended northwards across more of northwest England, with a likely focus towards the west. A second yellow thunderstorm warning has also been issued on Sunday for parts of Wales, England and Scotland. This will be in place from midday until 9pm. The warning was also updated on Saturday morning to remove Northern Ireland but did include parts of Moray, mid-and-west Lothian.

Met Office chief meteorologist Frank Saunders, said: “Temperatures will increase into the weekend with a peak of 31°C expected on Saturday in central and southeast England.

"As the heat builds from the south, thundery showers will develop through Saturday afternoon and while not everyone in the warning area will see the heaviest showers, or even any rain at all, some will bring heavy thundery downpours. With intense showers there is a risk of surface water flooding which could cause some disruption – the very dry, baked ground may not help in that respect.” 

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He added: “The heat will last for a few more days at least, Sunday will see 30°C again in parts of southern UK and the risk of thunderstorms also spreads more widely across the UK – particularly western and central areas – with heavy downpours again brining the risk of thunder, hail and gusty winds. As well as higher daytime temperatures, overnight temperatures will also climb with some locations not getting below the mid-teens °C overnight.”

Heat health alert

Heat health alerts have been issued until Tuesday morning through the UK Health and Security Agency. Amber alerts are in place across the East Midlands, West Midlands, South East, South West and East of England. Yellow alerts remain in place for the North East, North West, London, Yorkshire and The Humber.

Dr Agostinho Sousa, Head of Extreme Events and Health Protection at the UKHSA, said: “In the coming days we are likely to experience our first sustained period of hot weather of the year so far, so it’s important that everyone ensures they keep hydrated and cool while enjoying the sun.  

“Forecasted temperatures this week will primarily impact those over the age of 65 or those with pre-existing health conditions such as respiratory and cardiovascular diseases. 

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Weather next week

Signals for next week indicate the risk of thundery downpours will continue at first for some with temperatures likely to remain above average. Eastern coastal areas could be slightly cooler again, with a resumption of an easterly breeze. 

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