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Storms bring heavy rain, lightning and hail ‘the size of garden peas’ to UK

·2 min read

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

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.

The choppy weather is expected to continue, as the Met Office issued yellow warnings for rain in north west England and wind in south west England on Thursday and Friday, with gusts of up to 65mph predicted.

It comes as footage and images on social media showed hail storms in Northamptonshire, which appeared to be so heavy it set off car alarms.

One social media user in Stoke described the hail seen locally as “the size of garden peas” and said he had “never seen owt (sic) like it”.

Meteorologist Annie Shuttleworth said the Met Office had received reports of hail “up to two centimetres in diameter”.

Hail stones that fell in Northampton
Hail stones that fell in Northampton (Douglas Goddard/PA)

“The warnings highlight those areas where the showers have been most persistent and widespread and are causing any impacts,” she told the PA news agency.

“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.

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

“We’re also going to see short periods of blustery winds.”

Hail stones that fell in Northampton
Hail stones in Northampton (Douglas Goddard/PA)

But Ms Shuttleworth added 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.

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.

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.

Weather warnings for thunderstorms
Weather warnings for thunderstorms (PA Graphics)

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.

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