The UK has woken up today to a much cooler morning, with highs of 21C, meaning many slept better last night than they did in the balmy evenings of the past week. However, storms aren’t just hitting the UK – Europe is dealing with its own influx of lightning storms and flooding.
Forecasts predict the temperatures will continue on a downward trend over the next few days, with maximums of 23C during the day by next Monday.
The Met Office has issued plenty of yellow weather warnings for the weekend and early next week – with most of England and Wales at risk of lightning, flash floods and disrupted travel.
In the event of lightning, the Met Office advises staying indoors to prevent the risk of being struck by lightning.
Europe is facing much of the same fate as the UK right now – with lightning striking across the continent too.
Maps show Northern Italy is seeing plenty of lightning and thunderous weather, as well as central Germany around Frankfurt, and down in the Balkans.
You can use lightningmaps.org to track lightning storms across the world in real time as they happen.
Severeweather.eu reports: “Severe storms with a threat for large hail, severe winds, and torrential rainfall with flash floods are again expected across a large part of central Europe, especially around the Alps into the northern Balkans.
“A short-wave should provide enough lift for storm initiation under strongly unstable air mass and enhanced shear on Friday.
“A still moderately unstable air mass within weak shear north of the Alps should support a rather widespread multicell activity with primary torrential rainfall and flash floods threat.
“Slow-moving storms are expected and result in high rainfall sums locally.”
August in generally a very changeable month when it comes to the weather, with the start of the month usually characterised by July’s warm temperatures, and rain and cooler climates settling in toward the end of the month.
The recent storms follow a Europe wide heatwave, which saw temperatures across the UK reach the high 30s.
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Some places in Europe reached over 40C, but now the continent is seeing the clash of warm and cold air cause major storms.
Lightning happens over the UK all year round, but you might be surprised to know how common lightning is – even though you might not see it too often.
Potentially dangerous cloud-to-ground strikes make up only one-quarter of all lightning generated by thunderstorms.
Most other lightning happens wholly within the cloud and is visible only as a brightening of the cloud – this is called sheet lightning.
Each year the UK, Ireland and the surrounding seas typically experience 200,000 to 300,000 lightning counts.
A heavy thunderstorm day can experience as many as 10,000 but on exceptional days more than 50,000 can occur, as happened on June 28, 2012 when there were 64,000 strikes – the highest ever recorded.
Flash floods are common after a heatwave because the rain falls on ground that is hard and dry, making it more difficult for the ground to absorb water.
This water then doesn’t have anywhere to go, meaning that if the rain is heavy enough it can build on top of the soil very quickly.
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