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Flooded street in the UK
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Now the UK can expect flash flooding and thunderstorms later in the week

No, we’re not done with the extreme weather just yet

Written by
Faima Bakar
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The current heatwave might have many of us longing for rain, but we should be careful what we wish for – as flash flooding and thunderstorms could be no the way within just a few days. The Met Office said an ‘incredible deluge’ could hit the country later in the week.

Meteorologists have issued a yellow warning for thunderstorms in parts of the UK for Monday and Tuesday but it’s not known when exactly we can expect to see the storms. When it does reach us, though, we can expect up to 5cm of rain in a very short time, potentially flooding low-lying areas. 

Grahame Madge, of the Met Office, said it could all come down ‘very quickly’, adding: ‘We could get situations changing within a couple of hours or even an hour.’ Experts have now warned people to place valuables high up in case of flooding, and told drivers that they could well get stuck on roads and to expect run-off from fields.

London could also see flooding as there are areas without adequate drainage. This could cause damage to homes and individual properties, with basement flats at particular risk. During London Climate Action Week, scientists have been warning central government that warm weather holds more moisture, meaning we’re headed toward heavy rainfall. 

You might be thinking the rain will do some good, especially as the country’s parks and green spaces are looking decidedly yellow at the moment. However, as one scientist illustrated, parched ground soaks up water much slower than wet land. So rain after a drought can be dangerous and lead to flash floods. 

So, what can you do to prepare? Madge added: ‘It’s incredibly challenging to identify where you are going to get the most extreme events. If people know that properties may have flooded before it might be the time just to be ready – have a clear-up, put any valuables at a higher level. It could be as simple and as fundamental as that, so that if you do have to move quickly you are already halfway prepared.’

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