BRITAIN will be battered by five days of intense rain and thunderstorms this week – prompting a dire “danger to life” storm warning for Thursday.
The Met Office issued the chilling weather forecast for heavy rain amid fears of homes being flooded and travel chaos for millions.
It reads: “Heavy showers and thunderstorms may cause some travel disruption and flooding in places during Thursday afternoon and evening.
“There is a small chance of fast flowing or deep floodwater causing danger to life.”
Weather conditions could get even worse by Friday – as the heavy and thundery showers get into full swing.
But it’s not all bad news as a “hot air plume” is predicted to arrive on Saturday – potentially bringing with it highs of 28C.
Tuesday will see cloud and rain continue to move east across Scotland and northern England.
The Met Office said: “Cloudy with outbreaks of rain and drizzle across Scotland.
“Possible heavy showers for Northern Ireland and southwest Scotland.
“Dry with sunny spells across the south and the far northeast.
“Warm in the south and feeling rather humid for many.”
Weather forecasters warned there may be outbreaks of heavy rain across the northern half of the UK on Wednesday.
These showers are then expected to turn thundery by the end of the week.
But the Weather Channel has forecast an explosion of heatwaves before the end of the summer.
HOT AIR PLUME
Leon Brown, head of meteorological operations at the Weather Channel, says the first “hot air plume” will arrive on Saturday.
He said: “After unprecedented June heat across Europe, four more periods people would call heatwaves are forecast in the UK this summer.
“Each period would see maximum temperatures reach at least 28C, 5C above London’s 23C average summer maximum temperature.”
Mr Brown predicts the heatwaves will come in waves, with the next arriving mid-July.
He added: “These spells are forecast to occur like waves every two weeks or so, with the next hot spell in mid-July, then in early August, late August and early September.
“Plumes of heat are forecast from Africa, bringing thunderstorms, with cooler Atlantic periods and some rain in between.
“Maximum temperatures this summer from late July into early August have a good chance of reaching the mid-30s, with 35C certainly possible, due to the influence of heat from Africa.”
These predictions would see a return of the heatwave seen in June across the UK, when temperatures peaked at 35C.
It came as a “tongue of fire” swept Europe, with roasting, dangerous highs of 46C in France.
Experts warned the extreme highs were made at least five times more likely because of climate change, caused by earth-heating greenhouse gas emissions.
SUNSHINE AND SHOWERS AHEAD
However, the Met Office said it was impossible to accurately predict more than five days ahead – and said that highs of 28C this Saturday were unlikely.
Becky Mitchell of the Met Office said: “We’re going to see some higher temperatures this week, starting off in the low 20s, and it will turn warmer during the rest of the week.
“From Wednesday onwards we’ll see highs of 25C and a similar picture on Thursday.
“At the moment it looks like temperatures will probably peak on Friday with highs of 26C, but at the weekend things might turn a little fresher, though it will likely stay in the low 20s.”
Ms Mitchell said sunshine and showers would mark the rest of the week, with thunderstorms triggered by the humidity likely on Friday.
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The Met Office forecaster said that there was a “slightly higher likelihood” we’d see above average temperatures in the next month.
The average July temperatures for the UK as a whole are 19C, though in the south an average would be more like 25C.
A heatwave is defined by three or more days at a consistently high temperature. For most of the UK this would be 25C and above, though in London it would have to reach 28C.
A mum and daughter enjoying the warm weather in Brighton on Friday[/caption]
Beach-goers brave the rain on the promenade in Aberystwyth last week[/caption]
A downpour soaks workers and shoppers in Manchester at the end of last month[/caption]
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