South East hit by flooding before warm weather moves in
Some areas in south-east England were deluged with almost half a month’s worth of rain in a few hours on Tuesday morning, the Met Office said.
Flooding and train cancellations have hit parts of England at the start of a week in which temperatures are expected to rise above 30C (86F).
Almost half a month’s worth of rain fell in just a few hours in some areas on Tuesday morning, with Kent and Sussex being the worst-hit.
Good morning. Thunderstorms & torrential rain easing from eastern and some central areas, but remaining cloudy with light rain in places. Brightening up across western & southern parts, warm & humid, perhaps sparking the odd heavy shower. Latest https://t.co/cQSfu1VDbo ^Sophie pic.twitter.com/JbM6yPKwN8— Met Office (@metoffice) June 25, 2019
Localised flooding was reported across the South East as commuters set off to work.
Rail operator Southern reported that all lines from Brighton through Haywards Heath were temporarily blocked due to the heavy rain and flooding on the tracks, and some passengers were delayed by more than an hour.
Due to heavy rain flooding overnight on the railway at Haywards Heath, lines were closed this morning while engineers used pumps to clear the water away. We thank passengers for their patience and you can see how we respond to flooding here. https://t.co/Lqwo6UtpTS— Network Rail Kent and Sussex (@NetworkRailSE) June 25, 2019
Coastal areas were the worst hit by the downpour, but some 0.3in (7mm-8mm) of rain in the capital caused minor flooding on some roads, according to Transport for London, and it was a wet morning commute for many.
The thunderstorms were powered up and brought to UK shores by a plume of warm air coming in from continental Europe, which is experiencing a heatwave that could bring record-breaking temperatures to France, Spain and Belgium.
Overnight in Hastings, East Sussex, between 0.6in (15mm) and 0.8in (20mm) of rain fell in just one hour, while 0.8in (20mm) fell in East Malling, Kent, over a three-hour period, according to the Met Office.
Meteorologist Simon Partridge said: “You could see some surface water issues on the roads.”
Despite the wet conditions it was a warm and muggy night for many, with temperatures of 20C (68F) in some parts of the South East.
Met Office figures show that June this year has been wetter than usual.
An average of 3.8in (96mm) has fallen across the UK in the month to June 23, which is 131% of the mean for this time of the year but not close to the record of 5.9in (149mm) set in 2012 for the same period.
Following the downpours, temperatures are expected to build as the week progresses and warm air moves across the Channel.
Public Health England warned that the heat could bring health risks to the elderly and people with underlying health conditions.
Peak temperatures across much of England are predicted to be well above 20C (68F), with the forecast for the Glastonbury Festival looking dry and sunny.
Heavy downpours in Scotland on Monday evening forced road closures and the suspension of tram services in Edinburgh.
Elsewhere on Monday evening, pink rainbows appeared in the sky above parts of the UK, including Dorset and Somerset.
This happens when the phenomenon occurs at sunrise or sunset when the sun is lower in the sky and only colours at the red end of the spectrum are refracted.
Temperatures in Scotland and Northern Ireland for the rest of the week are expected to be slightly cooler, although the mercury is expected to rise above 20C (68F) on Saturday.
London could see temperatures in excess of 30C (86F) on Saturday.
Last year’s record for June, a month when the UK was hit by a series of wildfires, was 33C (91.4F) at Porthmadog in Gwynedd, Wales, while the overall June record is 35.6C (96.1F), set in Southampton in 1976.