Britons brace for torrential rain and thunder as summer storms cause chaos

Met Office: Windy with showers

Britain has been warned to brace itself for thunderstorms and winds in excess of 55mph after a day which has seen parts of the nation lashed by torrential rains.

A number of events were cancelled after the Met Office issued thunderstorm warnings for Scotland and Northern Ireland as well as a wind warning for large parts of southern England and south Wales.

A wind warning is also in place for parts of England and Wales until midnight while a thunderstorm warning was in place until 11pm and 9pm for Scotland and Northern Ireland respectively.

The forecast forced Goodwood Festival of Speed organisers to cancel the event’s first day for the first time in its 30-year history.

The organisers said: “On-site safety is our highest priority and the forecasted high winds will pose a serious risk to various temporary structures across the site. We politely ask that you do not travel to Goodwood or attempt to access the site.”

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Meanwhile visitors to The Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford were forced to take cover as dramatic pictures showed sudden storms lashing the Gloucestershire airfield.

Tom Morgan, meteorologist at the Met Office, said: “For the middle part of July we’re seeing quite unseasonably unsettled weather.

“We’ve got quite strong winds today across southern areas where we will potentially see gusts as high as 55mph bringing some minor disruption and damage to trees, for example, particularly in South Wales and southern parts of England.

“We’ve also got some thunderstorms which are moving through quite quickly in the South because of the wind, but the thunderstorms in Scotland and Northern Ireland will be much slower.

“There are many outdoor events expected to take place this weekend, we do urge you, wherever you are, to keep an eye on the forecast and leave plenty of time for your journeys because the weather may well cause some disruption from either strong winds or thunder and heavy rain.”

All eight Royal Parks in London closed their playgrounds in a bid to keep visitors safe.

Wimbledon went ahead as planned although a warning was issued ahead of the women’s singles final, won by underdog Marketa Vondrousova, with organisers announcing the ticket queue would be closed for the day due to the weather warning.

Mr Morgan added: “For tomorrow’s men’s singles final, the winds should be quite a bit lighter but it’ll still be quite noticeably breezy so you will still notice the winds through Centre Court.

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“There’s a drier day in prospect for Wimbledon tomorrow but I wouldn’t entirely rule out a shower. I think the final gets under way around 2pm tomorrow so there is a chance of showers coming through tomorrow afternoon. There’s potential for an interruption.

“As we look at a general UK perspective, it is an improved day tomorrow. The winds will be easing down. It’s still breezy and there will still be showers around but we don’t anticipate quite the same number of intense downpours that we’ll see on Saturday.

“There will be some longer, sunnier intervals between showers tomorrow and it will feel a fraction warmer given that the winds will be a bit lighter.

“It stays very changeable going into the working week as well, low pressure never too far away, and that will bring showers, but compared to recent days it’ll be generally a lot drier and the winds will be a lot less strong too.”

Wales was hit particularly hard this morning by the bad weather when the M4 flooded and a landslide halted train services near Troed Y Rhiw.

In Dorset, the annual Tolpuddle Martyrs Festival was cut short as the weekend union event was hit with “extreme adverse weather conditions”.

Organisers said: “In the interests of clarity, even though the weather is set to improve tomorrow, the rest of the festival will not be going ahead due to the logistical demands of safely resetting the site.”

Temperatures throughout the day remained in the high teens or low 20s, which is average for the time of year.

Sunday is expected to be less windy but showers will continue for parts of northern England, Scotland and Northern Ireland, with a risk of thunder, while further south will see a mix of sunny spells and showers.

The weather is in sharp contrast to much of southern Europe, where temperatures in excess of 48C (113F) have been recorded.

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