A 70-year-old woman has escaped unharmed after two houses were partially destroyed by lightning in Hampshire, and thunderstorms and heavy rain are expected in the south of the UK this weekend.
After several days of sunny skies and scorching temperatures, the Met Office has issued a yellow weather warning in southern England and Wales for Saturdays and Sundays, warning that frequent lightning, torrential rain and strong winds are expected.
With an estimate 11.5 million pleasure car trips are expected Between Wednesday and last Sunday, when the school holidays begin, meteorologists have warned motorists that this weekend there may be difficult driving conditions and road closures, with the possibility of flooding in some areas.
Fire crews rushed onto a street in Andover, Hampshire, on Saturday morning after lightning severely damaged two homes. A 70-year-old woman escaped unscathed, but the roofs of both properties were destroyed by an explosion caused by the strike. A spokesman for the Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service said fire crews were buffering the property after the strike.
Neighbor Barrie Austen, 79, said: “There was a huge explosion, obviously it was lightning, I think it woke up the rest of the street.
“I saw the flicker and when I looked outside I saw the roof of the townhouse completely on fire and it was completely gone. The side that supports the roof, which also collapsed and then the flames spread to the next door. “
Festival goers could have a muddy weekend at Latitude in Suffolk, the first full-capacity festival to take place since the pandemic began, and 40,000 people are expected to attend. A yellow weather warning for thunderstorms covers the government’s test event from 9 a.m. Sunday to midnight.
Met Office Chief Operating Meteorologist Frank Saunders said: “The advisories implemented over the weekend show a marked change in the weather pattern for many areas of the South as low pressure progresses, with potential impacts for businesses and the public. This more unstable climate carries the risk of torrential rains and flooding in some places. However, the northernmost areas will hang on to see some nice weather over the weekend, although not as hot as recently. “
The heavy rains have arrived just as the summer school holidays begin in England and Wales, putting a brake on many plans for the national holidays. With a recent YouGov survey Finding that only 8% of Brits have a holiday abroad booked amid complex travel restrictions, many will aspire to travel within the UK.
The weather advisories were issued less than two weeks after the south of England was hit by heavy storm rains that caused flooding in parts of London. The London fire brigade said its 999 control officers received more than 150 calls to flood incidents in the capital on July 12, which caused havoc and severe damage to some homes and businesses. Scientists have long warned that the climate crisis is triggering extreme weather events, from devastating heat waves in Canada to deadly deluges seen across Europe.
Forecasters said unstable weather appears to continue into early next week, with more persistent rains expected for much of the UK.