Enjoy the sun - storms and floods are on way

WEATHER WARNING ... thunderstorms and flooding could be on their way back to South Tyneside.
WEATHER WARNING ... thunderstorms and flooding could be on their way back to South Tyneside.

SOUTH Tynesiders are being urged to make their most of today’s heatwave - as there’s a storm on the way early tomorrow.

Hot and sunny weather over the last few days has seen people flocking to parks, beaches and their gardens in droves as temperatures soar to the highest of year so far.

But anyone planning a barbecue or day out with the family tomorrow will be best advised to pack umbrellas and waterproofs, as thunderstorms, torrential rain, strong winds and even hail are on the way.

In typical British fashion, weather experts have issued two warnings for the public - one for a heatwave today and the other for heavy rain, lightning strikes and localised flooding tomorrow.

Temperatures across many southern parts of England are expected to top 30C (86F) today - ousting yesterday’s 29.2C (84.5F) in London as the hottest of the year - with some parts of the South East reaching at least 32C, perhaps higher.

The Met Office warned of a 60 per cent chance of a heatwave until 8am on Sunday in parts of the country.

But a new weather pattern moving into the UK from the south will bring wet and humid weather tonight, which is expected to erupt into thundery downpours by the early hours of tomorrow.

In an weather warning for the North East, the Met Office said: “Several areas of heavy, thundery showers will develop over England and Wales from Friday night before moving northwards during Saturday.

“Not everywhere within the warning area will see thunderstorms, and indeed some spells of warm sunshine are expected at times.

“But where thunderstorms do form, some torrential downpours are likely with frequent lightning, large hail and locally strong gusts.

“Significant flooding is possible where these do occur from surface water as well as from small, fast-responding watercourses.

“The public should be prepared for the risk of disruption from any of these elements.”

The Environment Agency has also said there is a risk of localised flooding over the weekend as a result of intense rainfall.

The risk of isolated surface water flooding tomorrow has been upgraded from yellow to an amber alert – meaning be prepared - for most parts of the country, as torrential rainfall is forecast.

Areas that are affected by storms may experience up to a month’s worth of rain in two or three hours.

On Sunday, heavy showers will become confined towards the east coast, bringing a lower likelihood of surface water flooding.

South Tyneside Council and South Tyneside Homes have staff closely monitoring the situation, with equipment pods stocked in higher risk areas of the borough.

Additional staff are on standby to respond to any incidents to help prevent flooding and deal with any disruption, as and if required.