Stock image of lightning hitting a field - Credit: Flash Dantz on Unsplash
Stock image of lightning hitting a field - Credit: Flash Dantz on Unsplash

Met Office declare yellow thunderstorm and flood warning

Ami Wyllie

A yellow thunderstorm warning has been issued across the South West, lasting until the early hours of tomorrow morning.

All areas of Devon are covered by the warning, with storms set to start at 8pm on Sunday evening, continuing through the night until 5am on Monday.

Lightning strikes and heavy rain may cause widespread power cuts to homes and businesses across the county, but the risk of flooding is currently low.

Driving conditions are likely to deteriorate during the storm, with spray and road flooding causing ‘difficult’ visibility and leading to road closures.

The Met Office warned: “There is a chance that thunderstorms may cause some flooding and disruption on Sunday night.

“There is a small chance that homes and businesses could be flooded quickly, with damage to some buildings from floodwater, lightning strikes or hail.

“Where flooding or lightning strikes occur, there is a chance of delays and some cancellations to train and bus services.”

Despite the warning, the Met Office are unsure which exact locations will lightning is guaranteed, but storms are likely to start in Devon before moving upcountry.

A thunderstorm warning has been issues by the Met Office, lasting from 8pm on Sunday, May 15 - 5am Monday, May 16 - Credit: Met Office
A thunderstorm warning has been issues by the Met Office, lasting from 8pm on Sunday, May 15 - 5am Monday, May 16 - Credit: Met Office

A spokesperson added: “Although the locations affected by thunderstorms remains uncertain, a few places may experience a combination of heavy rain, frequent lightning and hail during Sunday night.

“Should thunderstorms develop, they are likely to move north from the south coast during Sunday evening into parts of south Wales, southern England and East Anglia overnight before gradually weakening during Monday morning.

“Whilst some places will remain dry, a few places may see 20-30 mm of rain fall in less than an hour, with frequent lightning and hail additional hazards.”

To stay safe during a thunderstorm, the Met Office recommend unplugging non-essential appliances, using a surge protectors, seek shelter if you hear thunder, avoid using landline phones – unless there is an emergency, avoid bodies of water outside, keep away from trees, poles and metal objects, avoid golf, fishing or boating and be aware of metal objects that may attract lightning.

If you find yourself outside during a storm, you are advised to stay close to the ground in a crouched position with your head between your legs – under no circumstances should you lie down.

Pets should be kept indoors and away from windows, those that live outdoors, e.g. rabbits and guinea pigs, should have a thick blanket draped over their run or hutch. The Kennel Club advise creating a cosy den or ‘nest’ for dogs, with white noise, TV or calming music on to drown out the sound and calm them down.