Heavy downpours to hit Hartlepool and East Durham

editorial image

A THIRD of a month’s rain could fall in just a few hours today as torrential downpours and thunderstorms hit parts of the UK.

Severe weather warnings covering much of the country have been issued by meteorologists, while the Environment Agency has implemented 19 flood alerts.

The Met Office said areas in northern England Britain could see “in excess of 30mm (1.2in) of rain in two or three hours”.

The average rainfall for the UK for the whole of August is 89mm (3.5in).

Yellow “be aware” warnings for rain have been issued for the region.

The Met Office said on its website: “The public should be aware of the risk of localised surfacewater flooding, with the added hazard of lightning in some areas.”

This morning the Environment Agency had 19 flood alerts in place - four in the Anglian region, one in the North West, eight in the South East, and three each in the South West and Wales.

Met Office spokeswoman Nicola Maxey said the conditions are “fairly typical” for late summer and the downpours are expected to have passed by tonight.

“It is just some unstable air that is moving through, creating this rain. It will clear through by the end of the day.”

It comes after the tail-end of Hurricane Bertha caused the wettest 24-hour period of the year at the weekend.

An Environment Agency spokeswoman said: “At midday on Thursday there are 19 flood alerts in place, meaning flooding is possible.

“High spring tides continue today, bringing a risk of wave overtopping and spray in places, particularly when strong gusts of wind coincide with the time of high tides.

“Over the last week Environment Agency teams have been out on the ground, ensuring coastal flood defences are ready, rivers can flow freely and clearing trash screens.

“Since August 11 we’ve received reports of 15 properties flooded from coastal flooding. We will continue to support local councils as they respond to surfacewater flooding.”