Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Heavy storms mark climax of the UK's longest heatwave for nearly 40 years

Heather Saul in the Independent (UK): A fortnight's rain fell overnight in parts of Britain, bringing a stormy end to the country's longest heatwave in seven years. The thunder, lightning and hail that broke the sunny spells on Monday night will last intermittently throughout Tuesday and Wednesday, coupled with torrential rain and the risk of flash floods, weather experts warned.

Pershore in Worcestershire recorded the highest rainfall last night with more than an inch (25.8mm) falling - half the area's 50mm average total for the whole of July, the Met Office said. Rochdale saw 18.6mm (0.7 inches) in the 12 hours to 7am while Monks Wood in Cambridgeshire recorded 15mm (0.6 inches).

The sunnier climate that provided the nation with weeks of scorching temperatures, peaked yesterday at 33.5C in London - the hottest day since 20 July, 2006. The storms will thunder on over the Midlands as well as across eastern, central, northern and southern parts of England, with the East Midlands, London and Kent experiencing the worst of the weather.

Temperatures will dip to the high 20s and remain humid, but the west of England, Wales and Northern Ireland will be far cooler before the rest of the country gradually follows suit. Britons can even expect more of the large hailstones witnessed in south London as a result of the humidity....

A tree in a storm near East Riding, shot by Andy Beecroft, Wikimedia Commons via Geograph UK, under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license

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