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UK braces for thunderstorms as Met Office issues yellow weather warning

The Met Office has issued a yellow weather warning for thunderstorms affecting the south of Scotland and north of England.

Forecasters are predicting thunderstorms could be accompanied by hail, lightning and heavy downpours in some areas, with up to 20mm of rain per hour.

The yellow warning is in place from 11am to 11pm today. A yellow warnings means that homes could be flooded, and there is a good chance driving conditions will be affected.

Dean Hall, a meteorologist at the Met Office, told i that the storms are most likely to start in the late afternoon, before gradually dissipating from early evening onwards.

Mr Hall said that Cumbria and the Yorkshire Dales are the areas expected to be worst hit by the wet weather conditions.

He predicts the thunderstorms are unlikely to form much below Bolton or much above Perth in the North of Scotland.

Many areas of North West England, such as Blackpool, Greater Manchester and Lancashire, should be relatively safe from today’s storms, according to the meteorologist.

These storms are expected to cause some disruption to travel and outdoor activities, as the Met Office advises those planning to travel to check their route.

In addition, the forecaster predicts some flooding, as well as short-term power cuts, are possible for a few homes and businesses, with rail travel also potentially being impacted.

Mr Hall told i that drivers should be on guard, as hail could potentially impact visibility on some roads.

The thunderstorms are predicted to impact Glasgow, Edinburgh, Perth, Fife, Kinross and Stirling in Scotland.

In the North of England, Durham, Middlesbrough, Newcastle upon Tyne and Sunderland may also be affected.

Much of the South East of England experienced showery weather earlier today, forcing the ceremonial RAF display at the Trooping the Colour celebration to be delayed well past its scheduled time.

Despite the adverse weather conditions this weekend, Mr Hall said Britons may see a return to more summery climates over the coming days.

“Monday and Tuesday are likely to unsettled throughout the UK, with a mixture of summery and showery spells,” he said. “Conditions are then likely to become generally drier moving into Wednesday

“Thursday and Friday could see the return of weather in the low 20°Cs”.

Briton experienced the warmest May in history last month, followed by an unseasonably cold first week of June.

Gloomy June weather hampering UK businesses

A cold and wet start to the summer, which risks hampering UK businesses reliant on heavy footfall and tourism, is set to improve from the middle of next week after an “unsettled” beginning to June, forecasters have said.

Temperatures so far this month have been a few degrees below their seasonal average as an area of low pressure keeps conditions cool – a stark contrast to the hottest June on record, seen this time last year, where the mercury rose as high as 32.2°C in Lincolnshire and Surrey.

The British Retail Consortium (BRC) warned last month that “gloomy, wet weather combined with the cost of living” had dampened spending in April.

Gross domestic product (GDP) fell flat following 55 per cent more rainfall than normal that month, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

In a 2018 joint study, the Met Office and BRC said “unseasonal weather” could influence consumer behaviour and “strongly affect monthly growth figures”.

The colder temperatures so far this month, which have hovered around an average of 15-16°C, pose particular challenges for small businesses which rely on tourism or high street foot traffic.

James Sproule, an economist at Handelsbanken, said the continued unusual weather means businesses can expect “similarly soggy results”.

He added: “These will be particularly hard to bear for smaller firms which are naturally less geographically diversified and more dependent on footfall – as opposed to online – to drive sales.

“Summer, when it arrives, will be very welcome for many reasons.”

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