The yellow warning for rain covers central and southern parts of England and Wales and will be in force from early on Saturday to midnight on Sunday.
Across the warning area, heavy thundery showers are expected to break out over the course of the weekend, especially on Sunday when these could be widespread and torrential in places. Whilst rainfall totals will vary considerably from places to place, up to 100mm of rain could build up in some locations with potential impacts including the chance of some flooding as well as poor travel conditions due to surface water. Lightning and hail are expected to be additional hazards.
The warning comes as western areas of the UK continue to deal with an amber extreme heat warning that is currently in force, with temperatures regularly getting in to the high 20s and low 30s Celsius. The extreme heat warning is due to expire for the southwest, a large area of Wales and parts of southern and central England on Thursday night, while Northern Ireland’s extreme heat warning will expire on Friday night. On Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, there’s a continued risk of some thundery downpours in central and southern areas.
Met Office Deputy Chief Operational Meteorologist David Oliver said: “This yellow rain warning comes as temperatures are set to dip for many areas over the weekend. A spell of rain, heavy in places perhaps with some thunder, moves in from the southwest late on Friday and into Saturday.
“This is followed up by an unsettled weekend for much of England and Wales with showers breaking out widely. Some very heavy showers or thunderstorms are on the cards, especially during Sunday. However, farther north it is set to stay mainly dry with some fine weather, although it will not be as hot as has been seen recently.”
The unsettled conditions are set to continue for much of the UK into next week, with showers or longer spells of rain set to affect many areas, although still with some drier, sunnier spells.
The current extreme heat warning coincides with Public Health England’s Heat Health Alert through to Friday, reflecting the risks to the health sector in England.
Dr Owen Landeg, Scientific and Technical Lead at PHE, said: “Everybody can be affected by high temperatures and most people are aware of good health advice for coping with hot weather. However, it’s important to keep checking on those who are most vulnerable such as older people and those with heart or lung conditions.
“As we experience the first hot weather episode of the year, it’s important for everyone to remember to adapt their behaviours. This is particularly important during the pandemic with many people self-isolating.
“Most of us want to enjoy the sun. Remember to look out for signs of heat exhaustion and follow our simple health advice to beat the heat.”
The amber extreme heat warning from the Met Office is the first one that has been issued. Find out why we’ve launched an extreme heat warning service.
Get tips for keeping cool in hot weather with WeatherReady.
Find out what to do in a flood.
Find out how to stay safe in a thunderstorm.