THUNDERSTORMS and lightning are expected to spark rush-hour chaos for thousands as flash foods may cancel trains in London and eastern England.
The Met Office has this afternoon put an amber severe weather warning in place between 4pm and 9pm.
They are urging Brits to be prepared for “heavy rain and thunderstorms” which may cause “sudden flooding”.
The large area covers eastern England from Norwich in East Anglia down to Brighton on the south coast.
London will also be affected and the adverse conditions are likely to cause severe delays for commuters going in and out of the capital.
TWO WEATHER WARNINGS
Meanwhile, other parts of the UK, including a large area from Hull down to Southampton, have also been given a yellow warning for heavy rain.
The more severe warning read: “An amber severe weather warning for thunderstorms has been issued.
“Take care on your way home tonight, and leave extra time for your journey.”
Forecasters warned of sudden flooding which could lead to difficult driving conditions and road closures, as well as power cuts and flooding of homes and businesses.
The Met Office added: “Flooding of homes and businesses is likely and could happen quickly, with damage to some buildings from floodwater, lightning strikes, hail or strong winds.”
Take care on your way home tonight, and leave extra time for your journey.
People in the yellow warning areas have been warned of heavy rain and a small chance of flooding and disruption.
The warning is in place from noon to midnight, with between 0.6in (15mm) and 1in (25mm) of rain expected to fall across the area.
Up to 2.4in (60mm) of rain could fall in isolated areas within the warning area, the Met Office said.
Forecaster Nicola Maxey said: “We have an unsettled week with quite a lot of rain.
“There’s a warning out for quite a lot of rain to come through today, especially for the southern and central areas, where it will be heaviest.”
The Environment Agency has issued three flood warnings for the River Avon in the South West, near Bristol and Bath.
As of 1.45pm, the agency had 42 flood alerts in place across the South West, Midlands and parts of Yorkshire.
Parts of the UK have already seen more than half of their average monthly rainfall, the Met Office said.
Norfolk in East Anglia has been drenched, with 91% of the county’s monthly rain falling already.
In the South West, Wiltshire has also had a wet October, experiencing 89% of its average monthly rainfall so far.
The UK as a whole has seen 55% of its average monthly rainfall, which Ms Maxey said is not abnormal for this time of year.
She said: “When you get into winter, you tend to see long spells of rainfall and it comes across the whole month and it’s more evenly spread, but we’re in that transition period.”
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The Met Office said Scotland, northern England and the West will remain mostly dry for the first few days of the week before another weather front brings downpours to those areas on Wednesday.
The low pressure system is forecast to start moving across the country on Wednesday night, with a chance of thunder in the West.
Strong winds and locally heavy showers are expected, particularly in the West from Wednesday to Friday.