The Met Office has issued a yellow weather warning for portions of the UK as more than half a month’s rain is expected to fall on Friday.
Thunderstorms have been cautioned for London and the South East, while a yellow rain and wind warning has been issued for the west of the country, from the end of Cornwall up to Northern Ireland.
This latest warning comes as Europe’s harsh weather season continues. Earlier this week, a German airport was inundated by torrential rain, and northern Italy was hit by a rainstorm on Thursday, while a 40oC heat dome swelters over Italy, Spain, and southern France.
How will the UK be affected?
In the UK around 30mm to 40mm (1 to 1.5in) of rain is expected to accumulate over the course of Friday, forecasters say.
Typically in August, 63mm (2.5in) of rain falls collectively across the South East during the entire month.
A yellow warning for thunderstorms has been issued across large swathes of the the South of England and the West Midlands.
The Met Office says there is a chance of travel disruption, and that some homes run the risk of being flooded or affected by short-term loss of power.
Saturday is expected to brighten up, with heavy rain likely to be contained in north-east Scotland.
The Met Office said: “A line of thunderstorms are expected to develop during Friday morning and move gradually north-east before weakening into the afternoon.
“Whilst most places will only see a short period of heavy rain, a few places may see 30-40mm of rain in less than two hours. In addition to heavy rain, some thunderstorms may produce frequent lightning.”
Extreme weather across Europe
Recent heavy rain in Europe led to 90 flight cancellations at Frankfurt airport, and 23 journeys being rerouted at Germany’s busiest airport. The airport said large quantities of water accumulated on the tarmac on Wednesday evening and ground handling was suspended for more than two hours, according to German news agency Deutsche Presse-Agentur.
“Today, the situation will probably stabilise again,” a spokesman told AFP. “There are still passengers here who need to be booked onto new flights.”
The Frankfurt Fire Service said they had been involved in over 500 operations from late Wednesday to early Thursday related to the storm.
There were more than 350 instances of water flooding into buildings and 17 fallen trees, they said, forcing them to call in off-duty personnel to help.
In Italy, a ferocious storm hit Turin on Wednesday night, which also necessitated fire crews being called to remove fallen trees and mitigate widespread flooding. Residents have reported huge mudslides accumulating debris and rushing through towns.
As parts of northern Europe struggle with wet weather, a large heatwave is forecast to engulf parts of western and central Europe.
The heat dome, a phenomena which sees hot air push up into the atmosphere before being pushed down by high pressure, causing the compressed air to rapidly heat as it moves towards the ground.
Temperatures soared towards 47ºC , with Valencia smashing its all time highest temperature on record and Turkey recording temperature topping 50ºC-plus for the first time.
Next week, temperatures in parts of southern France and southern Italy are forecast to hit about 40ºC while ground temperatures could surpass as 50ºC in the south of Spain. These soaring temperatures carry the risk of more wildfires, which have already devastated parts of Greece, France, Spain, Portugal and Turkey.
On Tuesday, a fire destroyed homes and holiday campsites in Pyrenees-Orientales, a British tourist destination in France, forcing the emergency evacuation of 3,000 people.
Long-term forecast in the UK
Meanwhile in the UK, the Met Office has said the August bank holiday could be a wash-out, although there could be some warmer weather ahead from August 26 to September 9.
Speaking on the Met Office’s YouTube series Deep Dive, Met Office meteorologist and presenter, Alex Deakin, said: “What we’re seeing with the jet stream is this shift more towards being directed towards the UK from the southwest, which is helping to push low-pressure systems towards the UK.”
“It seems that this low-pressure system will be continuing into the weekend.
“Ahead of the weekend, the jet stream is looking to be relatively strong and, as well as bringing a period of some more persistent rain for many, it’s also bringing some strong winds and continuing this fresh period of weather,” he added.
This soggy August follows a July that was one of the wettest in British history.
Meteorologists recorded an average rainfall of 140.1mm across the UK last month, which meant that it was the sixth wettest July since records began in 1836.
And though not everyone in the UK will experience torrential rain, the wet weather looks likely to continue, with no glimpse of June’s hot weather on the horizon.
“The UK is predominantly under the influence of low pressure, which is continuing a showery regime, with some potentially heavy and thundery showers possible at times through the week,” said Andy Page, chief meteorologist at the Met Office.
“While not everywhere in the UK will experience the heaviest downpours, it will remain an unsettled and relatively cool period, in stark contrast to the heat we experienced in June.”