Met Office issues rare danger to life amber storm warning for parts of UK

A rare ‘danger to life’ amber weather warning has been issued for parts of England as heavy rain and thunderstorms are expected to batter much of southern Britain in hours. 

Half a month’s rain could fall in an hour in some parts of the UK as thunderstorms move across southern England, the Met Office has said.

There is a “small chance” lives could be put at risk, the forecaster said, with an amber warning issued for heavy rain for the Devon and Cornwall border area around Exeter and Dawlish. 

A yellow weather warning is also in place for thunderstorms across the south west of England and South Wales is in place until 6pm on Sunday.

A similar warning has been issued for London, the south east and east of England and the East Midlands until 6am on Monday.

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In some parts of southern England, it is predicted that 30-40mm of rain, which amounts to at least half the September average of 55-60mm, could fall.

In Totnes in Devon firefighters were scrambled to the scene of a house struck by lightning as a ceiling collapsed and electrics were wrecked in freak weather that has swept the region.

The property was hit around 1.44am this morning as the first wave of thunderstorms swept through the country, DevonLive reports. 

Met Office meteorologist Jonathan Vautrey said the thunderstorms could “turn severe” and bring “gusty winds with quite significant torrential rain”.

He added: “It is certainly worth keeping up to date with the forecast.

“Although the warning area covers the whole south east of England, not everywhere in that region may see the most severe thunderstorms.

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“It is worth checking those things immediately before you head out on your journey so that you are aware where the most severe thunderstorms are possible.

“Make sure you are taking care as the weather could change at very short lead times, and just be prepared for those gusty winds and potentially large hailstorms.”

Conditions are expected to remain “blustery at times” early next week but are likely to be fresher.

More storms are possible as the remnants of Hurricane Lee, which hit New England in the US and eastern Canada, is set to move across the UK between Tuesday and Thursday.

It will no longer be a hurricane by the time it reaches UK shores.

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