A significant weather event is set to unfold as Storm Betty, the second named storm of the season, approaches.
The Met Office has issued a warning for London, the southeast, and the Midlands, where an unusual and potent combination of conditions is predicted to bring heavy rainfall.
Within just a span of a few hours, more than half a month’s worth of rain could pour down, raising concerns about localized flooding and substantial traffic disruptions.
Yellow Warning Expanded, Additional Alerts Issued
Since the early hours of the morning, a yellow weather warning has been in effect for a wide region, stretching from Birmingham in the north to Bath in the west.
This warning encompasses the entirety of the south coast, extending up to the Thames estuary.
However, conditions are projected to worsen, prompting the issuance of additional weather alerts by the Met Office.
According to the latest update from the Met Office, a line of thunderstorms is projected to form during the morning hours of Friday.
These thunderstorms are expected to move northeastward and weaken as the afternoon progresses.
Although most areas will experience a brief period of intense rain, certain locations could see as much as 30-40 mm of rainfall within a mere two-hour timeframe.
Furthermore, alongside the heavy rain, the thunderstorms may produce frequent lightning.
Potential Impact on Travel and Infrastructure
The forecast raises concerns beyond just rainfall.
The Met Office has alerted the public to the possibility of power cuts resulting from thunder and lightning activity.
For those planning to travel ahead of the weekend, disruptions to journeys are anticipated.
Motorists and bus passengers have been advised to allocate extra time due to potentially affected driving conditions, including spray and standing water on the roads.
The threat of flooding looms over a number of homes and businesses, which could experience structural damage.
Lightning strikes also pose a risk, potentially damaging a few buildings and structures while causing short-term power loss.
Additionally, the weather event is anticipated to bring strong easterly winds, raising the potential for fallen trees and damage to temporary outdoor structures like marquees and tents.
Spread to Scotland and Summer’s Impact
As Storm Betty advances, weather warnings have been extended to Scotland, where heavy rain is expected to affect multiple areas on Saturday.
Rainfall totals of 20-30 mm are anticipated across the warning zone, with higher amounts of 40-60 mm possible in certain spots within the Angus Hills and the Grampian Mountains.
The rain is expected to fall within a relatively short span of time, approximately 3 to 4 hours.
Accompanying the rainfall will be strong and gusty southeasterly winds, especially along exposed coasts and hills in the east.
In a broader context, retailers have already expressed concerns about the unpredictable weather patterns witnessed during the summer.
These variations in weather have had a noticeable impact on their profit margins, highlighting the significance of meteorological events like Storm Betty and the need for continued monitoring and preparedness.