Met Office Amber Storm Warning for London and the South East

Met Office Amber Storm Warning for London and the South East

Heavy rains hit the region after months of scorching dry conditions (Image: PA/Getty Images)

Heavy rains hit the region after months of scorching dry conditions (Image: PA/Getty Images)

An amber “danger to life” weather warning has been issued for London and the south-east as the region grapples with severe thunderstorms.

The Met Office alert has been upgraded from a less severe yellow warning covering a much larger portion of the UK.

It will run from 11 am this morning until 10 pm tonight, with the possibility of power outages and communities being cut off by flooded roads.

Flooding of homes and businesses is “likely and could occur rapidly,” forecasters warn, while “deep or fast-flowing flooding is likely to be life-threatening.”

Around 30 to 50mm of rain could fall in less than an hour in certain places, with some seeing more than 100mm in a few hours, forecasters say.

Drivers should beware of dangerous road conditions, and travelers should double check for any cancellations or interruptions.

It comes after parts of Devon, Cornwall and Somerset were flooded earlier this week as the country’s unprecedented and prolonged drought came to an end.

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Map of weather warnings 08/17

A less severe yellow weather warning is covering a much larger part of the UK (Image: Metro.co.uk)

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Vuk Valcic/ZUMA Press Wire/REX/Shutterstock (13096059c) Heavy downpour at King's Cross as rain returns after months of drought in England.  Heavy rain after drought in London, England, UK - August 16, 2022

Commuters braving heavy rain at King’s Cross Station yesterday (Image: REX/Shutterstock)

A woman's umbrella is turned inside out during a downpour, in London, Britain, August 16, 2022. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls

London’s prolonged dry spell is coming to an end, but some risks remain (Image: Reuters)

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With some places in the UK going the entire summer without substantial rainfall, it can be tempting to get news of thunderstorms.

But the Met Office has warned that heavy rain hitting bone-dry ground could have some damaging consequences.

Earlier this week, meteorologist Dan Suri said: ‘When that heavy rain falls on extremely dry ground, the risk of flash flooding is much more pronounced.

“Without significant rainfall in some places in the south since June, the soils in these areas have been baked by the sun into almost impenetrable hard surfaces.

“Any rain in these areas will not be able to be absorbed and will instead wash off floors and other hard surfaces, creating flash flooding in some areas.

LONDON, UK - AUGUST 16, 2022 - Rain showers in London after dry conditions.  (Photo credit should go to Matthew Chattle/Future Publishing via Getty Images)

Travelers have been urged to double-check travel times due to a possible disruption (Image: Getty Images)

A young boy with an umbrella walking through puddles on Bankside in London.  Yellow weather warnings are in effect for most of the UK on Tuesday after weeks of little rain and hot conditions that have caused drought, leaving the land parched.  Picture date: Tuesday August 16, 2022. PA Photo.  See PA story WEATHER Flooding.  Photo credit should read: Yui Mok/PA Wire

The amber weather warning runs from 11am to 10pm today (Image: PA)

People walking across the Millennium Bridge, London, during a rain shower.  Yellow weather warnings are in effect for most of the UK on Tuesday after weeks of little rain and hot conditions that have caused drought, leaving the land parched.  Picture date: Tuesday August 16, 2022. PA Photo.  See PA story WEATHER Flooding.  Photo credit should read: Yui Mok/PA Wire

Londoners braving the rain on the Millennium Bridge yesterday (Image: PA)

This excess water can quickly inundate some flood-prone areas. Particular areas of caution are low stretches of road and those areas adjoining sloping fields where water can run off quickly, creating quickly emerging hazards.’

Currently the Environment Agency has issued 22 flood warnings for various locations in the South East and Midlands.

Households have been advised to pack “grab bags” with essentials in preparation for the worst-case scenario.

Earlier this week, the Environment Agency said more than three million homes in England were vulnerable to surface water flooding.

Another 300,000 were at risk in Wales and Scotland, authorities added. People living in ‘low-rise estates’ have been advised to keep their valuables at ‘a higher level’ of their homes, or ensure they are ‘ready to go’.

Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at webnews@metro.co.uk.

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