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Storm clouds gather following blistering heat across UK

Published 19/07/2016

A day of tropical temperatures ahead of a night of torrential thunderstorms was expected
A day of tropical temperatures ahead of a night of torrential thunderstorms was expected
A ring tailed lemur at Blair Drummond Safari Park near Stirling enjoys a frozen fruit treat
Swathes of the country are baking in temperatures clear of 30C
Western lowland gorilla Alika eats a fruit tea ice block with hazelnuts at London Zoo, to help cool off
Barbary macaques at Blair Drummond Safari Park near Stirling enjoy a cool shower from a sprinkler
Parts of the South East could see temperatures climb as high as 35C
The sun rises over the North Sea at Tynemouth ahead of what is expected to be another day of tropical temperatures
The beach in Hastings, East Sussex, as Britain's mini-heatwave continues
Torrential thunderstorms are expected overnight
A ship sits off the North East coast near Tynemouth
The Duchess of Cornwall enjoys an ice cream during a sunny visit to the Taste of the West's 25th anniversary Food Fair in the grounds of Exeter Cathedral
A woman sleeps on a deck chair in Green Park, London
(Left to right) Becky Starr, Cesca Hall and Rachel de Minckwitz enjoy their lunch hour in Holland park, London
People enjoy the hot weather in St James's Park, London, as Britain sweltered on the hottest day of the year so far
A boy dives off of the sea wall near Old Portsmouth
A man dives off of the sea wall near Old Portsmouth
The soaring temperatures have sparked a surge in calls for medical help and causing delays on the railway
A sunbather lies on the beach near Southsea Pier

The blistering heat of the warmest day of the year so far is set to make way for heavy downpours, as storm clouds make their way across much of the UK.

Tuesday saw Britain swelter in temperatures which peaked at 33.5C (92.3F) in Brize Norton, making it hotter than Barcelona.

Despite being in the midst of a heatwave, the Met Office has issued a yellow weather warning for severe thunderstorms, large hail and strong winds which could lead to flash flooding of homes, businesses and transport networks.

The warning has been issued across all regions other than south-west England, London and south-east England.

It states that hot, moist air spreading north and north-east is expected to produce thunder storms, with some places seeing around 30mm of rainfall in an hour, and more than 50mm in a few hours.

The warning says: "Whilst most places will miss the worst, please be aware of the risk of localised flash flooding.

"Frequent lightning, large hail and strong winds could be additional hazards.

"All of this could lead to some flooding of homes, businesses and transport networks. Disruption to power is also possible."

The flooding could see further disruption caused to train services, some of which were delayed after heat-related speed restrictions were brought in.

Temperatures are expected to still remain high across the country, with the south-east of the country seeing the best of the weather with thermometers hitting the the low 20s.

The London Ambulance Service said it had had 300 more calls than usual and the RSPCA said it had also seen a spike in calls from members of the public concerned about dogs left in hot cars, conservatories, sheds and caravans.

Dr Angie Bone, head of extreme events at Public Health England, said: "Older people, those with underlying health conditions and young children may all feel the ill-effects of heat over the coming days."

Scotland also basked in sunshine on Tuesday with temperatures in the high 20s as far north as the Highlands.

Alex Priestley, a Met Office forecaster based in Aberdeen, said: "The highest temperature that we have seen today was 28.3C in Prestwick, Ayrshire.

"Threave in Dumfries and Galloway was 27.8C and Kinlochewe in Wester Ross was 27C.

"In the cities, Glasgow was 26.8C, Aberdeen was 25C and Edinburgh was 24C."

However, he warned Scotland to brace itself for thunder, lightning strikes on power transmitters, hail, gusty winds, flash floods, river flooding, property flooding, surface water and slippery roads, with two bands of heavy rain sweeping in on Wednesday.

He added: "We have been liaising with responder communities and Sepa (Scottish Environment Protection Agency) and they're prepared for dealing with any issues that may arise."

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