BRITAIN was lashed by bizarre harsh weather overnight on Thursday, September 15, as flash floods, thunder and lightning accompanied storms which dumped half a month’s weather in the space of a few hours.
The South was particularly affected with severe flooding in central London, Hampshire, Oxfordshire, Surrey, Hertfordshire and Greater London.
The storms followed a third day of warm September weather as the mercury reached 30°C in some parts of the country, but the temperature dropped more than 10°C overnight.
Traffic problems were evident on the M25, M4 and M40 as morning broke on Friday, while ‘several incidents’ on the rail network are provoking delays.
One train was derailed just before Watford Junction in Hertfordshire after encountering a landslide, and London Midland tweeted: “Due to derailment this morning, there will be delays and cancellations. Ticket acceptance in place on other train operating companies.”
Lightning strikes caused further issues in the southwest, while social media pictures show flooded stations at Didcot Parkway, Newbury and Chieveley stations in Oxfordshire.
The Environment Agency has issued a series of flood warnings, while a yellow rain warning remains in place across much of England, with an increase to amber west of London.
Met Office meteorologist Martin Combe said: “The storms are quite slow moving so it means the amounts are starting to build up over time, so we may get higher figures and localised flooding.
“The showers and thunderstorms are going to carry on for quite some time moving slowly north and eastwards, remaining around London through the morning and all afternoon in East Anglia.
“They will eventually clear off to the east, but it will be cool behind them. While it won’t be any colder than average, it is going to feel a lot cooler than it has been.”
Other weather experts now fear that the UK may be in for a repeat of 2015, when the wettest December for 100 years saw much of northern England flooded.