Warning for drivers as thunderstorms expected to bring torrential rain overnight

Drivers are being warned to take extra care on the roads as thunderstorms are expected to bring torrential rain to parts of the UK overnight.

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.

The heatwave saw thousands of people flock to the south coast, resulting in a major incident being declared and Government experts warning people against gathering in large groups.

68 PHOTOS
Heatwave hits the UK
See Gallery
Heatwave hits the UK
Left to right Claudia Swian aged 19, Lauren Sharpe aged 19 and Maia Benstead aged 19, enjoy the warm weather in Bridlington, East Yorkshire, as Thursday could be the UK's hottest day of the year with scorching temperatures forecast to rise even further.
Crowds gather on the beach in Bournemouth as Thursday could be the UK's hottest day of the year with scorching temperatures forecast to rise even further.
Crowds gather on the beach in Bournemouth as Thursday could be the UK's hottest day of the year with scorching temperatures forecast to rise even further.
A train passes through the shimmering heat from railway lines in Ashford, Kent, as Thursday could be the UK's hottest day of the year with scorching temperatures forecast to rise even further.
Sunbathers take pictures of the deer in Richmond Park, London, as Thursday could be the UK's hottest day of the year with scorching temperatures forecast to rise even further.
Cows use the River Thames to cool off in Bourne End, Bucks, as Thursday could be the UK's hottest day of the year with scorching temperatures forecast to rise even further.
A member of the Ambulance service looks out from Bournemouth Pier as crowds gather on the beach in Bournemouth as Thursday could be the UK's hottest day of the year with scorching temperatures forecast to rise even further.
A view of the beach in Brighton as Thursday could be the UK's hottest day of the year with scorching temperatures forecast to rise even further.
A man by a fountain at Trafalgar Square as thermometers hit 34C.
People enjoy the warm weather by Bridlington Harbour as Britain is braced for a June heatwave as temperatures are set to climb into the mid-30s this week.
Paddle boarders in Bourne End, Bucks, as Thursday could be the UK's hottest day of the year with scorching temperatures forecast to rise even further.
A view of the beach in Brighton as Thursday could be the UK's hottest day of the year with scorching temperatures forecast to rise even further.
The scene on the beach in Bournemouth, Dorset, after the UK officially recorded its warmest day of the year so far when the temperature reached 32.6C (90.7F) at London's Heathrow Airport at 2.46pm. (Photo by Andrew Matthews/PA Images via Getty Images)
Libby Patterson 20 from Tynemouth enjoys an ice-cream in Whitley Bay, during officially the hottest day of the year so far. (Photo by Owen Humphreys/PA Images via Getty Images)
People eating ice-cream in Whitley Bay, during officially the hottest day of the year so far. (Photo by Owen Humphreys/PA Images via Getty Images)
Friends James Robinson and Charlotte Inglis dangle their feet in the River Thames in Henley, as Britain is braced for a June heatwave as temperatures are set to climb into the mid-30s this week. (Photo by Jonathan Brady/PA Images via Getty Images)
People enjoy the hot weather by Three Shires Head on the River Dane, where Cheshire, Derbyshire and Staffordshire meet, as Britain is braced for a June heatwave with temperatures set to climb into the mid-30s this week. (Photo by Jacob King/PA Images via Getty Images)
PORTHCAWL, UNITED KINGDOM - JUNE 24: Women sunbathing on Sandy Bay beach as the Met Office warn temperatures could reach 34 degrees this week on June 24, 2020 in Porthcawl, United Kingdom. The First Minister of Wales Mark Drakeford has announced that all non-essential shops will be allowed to open their doors again in Wales from Monday but people will be asked to continue to "stay local" with five miles given as guidance until July 6. (Photo by Matthew Horwood/Getty Images)
A couple sail in an inflatable dinghy in the London Docklands, in front of the skyline of Canary Wharf, during officially the hottest day of the year so far. (Photo by Victoria Jones/PA Images via Getty Images)
A sunbather enjoys the sunshine in Oxford, during officially the hottest day of the year so far. (Photo by Steve Parsons/PA Images via Getty Images)
BLACKPOOL, UNITED KINGDOM - JUNE 24: Seagulls wait in hope of a titbit at Blackpool as people enjoy the fine weather on June 24, 2020 in Blackpool, United Kingdom. The UK is experiencing a summer heatwave, with temperatures in many parts of the country expected to rise above 30C and weather warnings in place for thunderstorms at the end of the week. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
TOPSHOT - Beachgoers enjoy the sunshine as they sunbathe on the beach and play in the sea in Southend on Sea, south east England, on June 24, 2020. - Just days after lockdown ended and European travel restrictions were lifted, many were staying home in the cool Tuesday as a heatwave hit the continent with temperatures touching 40 degrees Celcius. Britain was bracing for a flood of visitors to its beaches with the heatwave expected to last until Friday and temperatures set to climb into the mid-30s in the south and centre of the country. (Photo by Ben STANSALL / AFP) (Photo by BEN STANSALL/AFP via Getty Images)
BLACKPOOL, UNITED KINGDOM - JUNE 24: People enjoy the fine weather at Thornton Cleveleys promenade on June 24, 2020 in Blackpool, United Kingdom. The UK is experiencing a summer heatwave, with temperatures in many parts of the country expected to rise above 30C and weather warnings in place for thunderstorms at the end of the week. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
A man back flips into the River Dane by Three Shires Head, where Cheshire, Derbyshire and Staffordshire meet, as Britain is braced for a June heatwave with temperatures set to climb into the mid-30s this week.
In Pictures: Sunseekers savour delights of June heatwave from coast to coast
In Pictures: Sunseekers savour delights of June heatwave from coast to coast
In Pictures: Sunseekers savour delights of June heatwave from coast to coast
In Pictures: Sunseekers savour delights of June heatwave from coast to coast
In Pictures: Sunseekers savour delights of June heatwave from coast to coast
In Pictures: Sunseekers savour delights of June heatwave from coast to coast
In Pictures: Sunseekers savour delights of June heatwave from coast to coast
People cool off in the River Cam at Grantchester near Cambridge as Britain is braced for a June heatwave with temperatures set to climb into the mid-30s this week.
Sue Ingle enjoys the sunny weather in Scarborough as Britain is braced for a June heatwave with temperatures set to climb into the mid-30s this week.
People enjoy the hot weather by Three Shires Head on the River Dane, where Cheshire, Derbyshire and Staffordshire meet, as Britain is braced for a June heatwave with temperatures set to climb into the mid-30s this week.
Front of photograph, Charlotte Young enjoys the sunny weather in Scarborough as Britain is braced for a June heatwave with temperatures set to climb into the mid-30s this week.
People enjoy the hot weather by Three Shires Head on the River Dane, where Cheshire, Derbyshire and Staffordshire meet, as Britain is braced for a June heatwave with temperatures set to climb into the mid-30s this week.
People enjoy the hot weather by Three Shires Head on the River Dane, where Cheshire, Derbyshire and Staffordshire meet, as Britain is braced for a June heatwave with temperatures set to climb into the mid-30s this week.
People relax on Crosby Beach as Britain is braced for a June heatwave with temperatures set to climb into the mid-30s this week. PA Photo. Picture date: Wednesday June 24, 2020. See PA story WEATHER Hot. Photo credit should read: Peter Byrne/PA Wire
Seagulls fly around as people enjoy the hot weather in Cullercoats Bay, Tyne and Wear as Britain is braced for a June heatwave as temperatures are set to climb into the mid-30s this week.
A man enjoys the sunny weather in Scarborough as Britain is braced for a June heatwave with temperatures set to climb into the mid-30s this week.
A family pass by as the water system irrigates plants during the hot and sunny weather at Kew gardens in London, Wednesday, June 24, 2020. Britain is braced for a June heatwave with temperatures predicted to climb into the mid-30s this week.(AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
Visitors enjoy the hot and sunny weather with a walk past flowers at Kew gardens in London, Wednesday, June 24, 2020. Britain is braced for a June heatwave with temperatures predicted to climb into the mid-30s this week.(AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
In Pictures: Cooling down as a heatwave looms
In Pictures: Cooling down as a heatwave looms
In Pictures: Cooling down as a heatwave looms
In Pictures: Cooling down as a heatwave looms
In Pictures: Cooling down as a heatwave looms
In Pictures: Cooling down as a heatwave looms
In Pictures: Cooling down as a heatwave looms
In Pictures: Cooling down as a heatwave looms
In Pictures: Cooling down as a heatwave looms
In Pictures: Cooling down as a heatwave looms
In Pictures: Cooling down as a heatwave looms
In Pictures: Cooling down as a heatwave looms
In Pictures: Cooling down as a heatwave looms
In Pictures: Cooling down as a heatwave looms
In Pictures: Cooling down as a heatwave looms
Sun-seekers cool off in the water and sunbathe on the riverbank at Hackney Marshes in east London on June 24, 2020, as temperatures reached 31 degrees C at Heathrow Airport on the hottest day of the year - Just days after lockdown ended and European travel restrictions were lifted, many were staying home in the cool Tuesday as a heatwave hit the continent with temperatures touching 40 degrees Celcius. Britain was bracing for a flood of visitors to its beaches with the heatwave expected to last until Friday and temperatures set to climb into the mid-30s in the south and centre of the country. (Photo by Tolga AKMEN / various sources / AFP) (Photo by TOLGA AKMEN/Tolga Akmen/AFP via Getty Images)
Sun-seekers cool off in the water and sunbathe on the riverbank at Hackney Marshes in east London on June 24, 2020, as temperatures reached 31 degrees C at Heathrow Airport on the hottest day of the year - Just days after lockdown ended and European travel restrictions were lifted, many were staying home in the cool Tuesday as a heatwave hit the continent with temperatures touching 40 degrees Celcius. Britain was bracing for a flood of visitors to its beaches with the heatwave expected to last until Friday and temperatures set to climb into the mid-30s in the south and centre of the country. (Photo by Tolga AKMEN / various sources / AFP) (Photo by TOLGA AKMEN/Tolga Akmen/AFP via Getty Images)
Sun-seekers cool off in the water and sunbathe on the riverbank at Hackney Marshes in east London on June 24, 2020, as temperatures reached 31 degrees C at Heathrow Airport on the hottest day of the year - Just days after lockdown ended and European travel restrictions were lifted, many were staying home in the cool Tuesday as a heatwave hit the continent with temperatures touching 40 degrees Celcius. Britain was bracing for a flood of visitors to its beaches with the heatwave expected to last until Friday and temperatures set to climb into the mid-30s in the south and centre of the country. (Photo by Tolga AKMEN / AFP) (Photo by TOLGA AKMEN/AFP via Getty Images)
Sun-seekers cool off in the water and sunbathe on the riverbank at Hackney Marshes in east London on June 24, 2020, as temperatures reached 31 degrees C at Heathrow Airport on the hottest day of the year - Just days after lockdown ended and European travel restrictions were lifted, many were staying home in the cool Tuesday as a heatwave hit the continent with temperatures touching 40 degrees Celcius. Britain was bracing for a flood of visitors to its beaches with the heatwave expected to last until Friday and temperatures set to climb into the mid-30s in the south and centre of the country. (Photo by Tolga AKMEN / AFP) (Photo by TOLGA AKMEN/AFP via Getty Images)
Sun-seekers cool off in the water and sunbathe on the riverbank at Hackney Marshes in east London on June 24, 2020, as temperatures reached 31 degrees C at Heathrow Airport on the hottest day of the year - Just days after lockdown ended and European travel restrictions were lifted, many were staying home in the cool Tuesday as a heatwave hit the continent with temperatures touching 40 degrees Celcius. Britain was bracing for a flood of visitors to its beaches with the heatwave expected to last until Friday and temperatures set to climb into the mid-30s in the south and centre of the country. (Photo by Tolga AKMEN / AFP) (Photo by TOLGA AKMEN/AFP via Getty Images)
Sun-seekers cool off in the water and sunbathe on the riverbank at Hackney Marshes in east London on June 24, 2020, as temperatures reached 31 degrees C at Heathrow Airport on the hottest day of the year - Just days after lockdown ended and European travel restrictions were lifted, many were staying home in the cool Tuesday as a heatwave hit the continent with temperatures touching 40 degrees Celcius. Britain was bracing for a flood of visitors to its beaches with the heatwave expected to last until Friday and temperatures set to climb into the mid-30s in the south and centre of the country. (Photo by Tolga AKMEN / AFP) (Photo by TOLGA AKMEN/AFP via Getty Images)
The scene on the beach in Bournemouth, Dorset, after the UK officially recorded its warmest day of the year so far when the temperature reached 32.6C (90.7F) at London's Heathrow Airport at 2.46pm. (Photo by Andrew Matthews/PA Images via Getty Images)
The scene on the beach in Bournemouth, Dorset, after the UK officially recorded its warmest day of the year so far when the temperature reached 32.6C (90.7F) at London's Heathrow Airport at 2.46pm. (Photo by Andrew Matthews/PA Images via Getty Images)
Swimmers take to the water off the beach in Bournemouth, Dorset, after the UK officially recorded its warmest day of the year so far when the temperature reached 32.6C (90.7F) at London's Heathrow Airport at 2.46pm. (Photo by Andrew Matthews/PA Images via Getty Images)
A man dives into water in the London Docklands, in front of the skyline of Canary Wharf, during officially the hottest day of the year so far. (Photo by Victoria Jones/PA Images via Getty Images)
Beachgoers enjoy the sunshine as they sunbathe on the beach and play in the sea in Southend on Sea, south east England, on June 24, 2020. - Just days after lockdown ended and European travel restrictions were lifted, many were staying home in the cool Tuesday as a heatwave hit the continent with temperatures touching 40 degrees Celcius. Britain was bracing for a flood of visitors to its beaches with the heatwave expected to last until Friday and temperatures set to climb into the mid-30s in the south and centre of the country. (Photo by Ben STANSALL / AFP) (Photo by BEN STANSALL/AFP via Getty Images)
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

Storms have already started to develop in the north-west of Scotland, Wales and south-west England, and are expected to continue overnight.

A yellow weather warning is in place for Northern Ireland, Wales and the west of Scotland and England, with the storms set to move eastwards into Friday.

Met Office meteorologist Craig Snell told the PA news agency: "If you live in those areas, don't be surprised if you get woken up by a few rumbles of thunder tonight.

"If anyone is driving overnight tonight, they should expect there to be a lot of surface water spray on the roads locally."

Between 30 to 40mm (1.6 inches) of rain could fall in less than two hours in storm-hit areas, bringing a risk of flooding and disruption to some places, the Met Office said.

Mr Snell said the evening will also be "quite uncomfortable" for those trying to sleep as temperatures hover between 19-20C (68F) overnight on Thursday.

The storms are expected to continue from midday on Friday through to Saturday morning, with another yellow warning in place for the whole of the UK.

Scotland and Wales also experienced their hottest days of the year so far, with the former recording 30.8C (87.44F) in Prestwick, and the latter seeing temperatures rise to 31.4C (88.52F) in Trawsgoed, near Aberystwyth.

Summer weather June 24th 2020
Councils declared a major incident as beachgoers flocked to the south coast amid the UK heatwave (Andrew Matthews/PA)

Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole council said it was left with no choice but to declare a major incident after services were "completely overstretched" as huge numbers of visitors defied advice to stay away during the hot weather in recent days.

Condemning the "irresponsible" behaviour of crowds who gridlocked roads, dumped rubbish, abused refuse collectors and parked illegally, the council said extra police patrols have been brought in.

Chief medical officer for England Professor Chris Whitty urged people to follow social distancing rules in the hot weather or risk causing a spike in coronavirus.

He wrote on Twitter: "Covid-19 has gone down due to the efforts of everyone but is still in general circulation.

"If we do not follow social distancing guidance then cases will rise again.

"Naturally people will want to enjoy the sun but we need to do so in a way that is safe for all."

Health Secretary Matt Hancock also tweeted: "We all want to be outside and enjoying the glorious sunshine but if you are heading out please do it safely and stick to social distancing rules."

Bournemouth East MP Tobias Ellwood echoed calls from Dorset Police and the council for people to stay away and said he had asked the police minister to send additional officers if the force requested it.

Dorset Police Federation said officers had been dealing with "drunkenness, fights and having to locate missing children as pandemonium hit Bournemouth beach".

Council leader Vikki Slade said: "The irresponsible behaviour and actions of so many people is just shocking and our services are stretched to the absolute hilt trying to keep everyone safe. We have had no choice now but to declare a major incident and initiate an emergency response.

We all want to be outside and enjoying the glorious sunshine but if you are heading out please do it safely and stick to social distancing rules.

We are making real progress in tackling this virus and we don't want to undo everyone's hard work. Please stay alert and save lives.

— Matt Hancock (@MattHancock) June 25, 2020

There have also been warnings not to be tempted to cool off in open water, following the deaths of two people in recent days in Berkshire and Scotland.

A 10-year-old boy died after getting into difficulty in Loch Lubnaig, near Callander in the Highlands, on Wednesday evening, Police Scotland said.

Meanwhile, a body was found following a search for a missing man at Lulle Brook in Cookham, Berkshire.

A cousin told the PA news agency that Syrian refugee Eyad Al Ryabi had gone into the water on Tuesday evening to try to help his friend.

The friend survived and was taken to hospital in a serious condition, Thames Valley Police said.

The National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) tweeted: "Although the weather is hot, the water is not. Cold water shock can take your breath away please do not be tempted to cool off in open water and #BeWaterAware."

An amber level three heat-health alert, issued by the Met Office, was extended on Thursday to take in Yorkshire and the east and south of England as well as the West and East Midlands.

Public Health England (PHE) said older people, those with underlying health conditions, and very young children were all more at risk from the higher temperatures.

Read Full Story Click here to comment

FROM OUR PARTNERS