UK battered by thunderstorms and hail ‘the size of garden peas’

28 July 2021, 20:17

Hailstorms battered the UK on Tuesday after several days of unsettled weather
Hailstorms battered the UK on Tuesday after several days of unsettled weather. Picture: Alamy

By Daisy Stephens

Heavy rain, lightning and hail "the size of garden peas" have caused disruption across the UK, with forecasters predicting further stormy weather to come.

Footage on social media showed hail in Northamptonshire that appeared so heavy it set off car alarms, while in Stoke hail was described as "the size of garden peas".

It came as the Met Office issued yellow warnings for rain in north west England and wind in south west England on Thursday and Friday.

"The warnings highlight those areas where the showers have been most persistent and widespread and are causing any impacts," said Meteorologist Annie Shuttleworth.

"That area of hail we've seen through Northampton, we have had reports of hail that is up to two centimetres in diameter and up to 35mm of rain falling in some places in an hour.

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"Surface water on the road there will make for very difficult driving conditions.

"We're also going to see short periods of blustery winds."

Erratic conditions on Wednesday follow a week of downpours across the country with both amber and yellow weather warnings in place.

An amber warning for rain remains in place for parts of northern Scotland as emergency services dealt with more than 50 calls related to flooding overnight on Tuesday.

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In Scotland, the Met Office issued an amber warning meaning "homes and businesses are likely to be flooded" and that "fast flowing or deep floodwater is possible, causing danger to life."

The warning, which covers Moray, Aberdeenshire, Aberdeen and the Highlands, is in force until 6am on Thursday.

The Met Office previously said that up to 80mm of rain could fall in 24 hours in some parts of Scotland.

The on and off deluges caused disruption to travel and sports matches in England on Wednesday afternoon.

The women's Hundred cricket match, scheduled at Old Trafford stadium in Manchester, was called off because of the wet weather.

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Elsewhere in Greater Manchester patients and staff were evacuated from a hospital following a lightning strike.

Firefighters were called to tackle the blaze on the roof of the Trafford General Hospital though a spokesperson said that all those evacuated were safe and their families had been informed.

Ms Shuttleworth said that "impactful" weather was only expected to last until Wednesday evening, but more "isolated" showers and thundery weather would continue over the next few days.