THUNDERSTORMS and “intense” downpours are set to hit parts of South-West England and Northern Ireland, PA reporter Ted Hennessey writes.

Up to 2in of rain could fall over a few hours in Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Plymouth, Somerset, Torbay and in western parts of Northern Ireland today (Tuesday, May 21).

Areas in North Somerset, like Weston-super-Mare, are expected to be impacted, as well as Bridgwater and Burnham-on-Sea.

Frequent lightning strikes and hail may also be seen, the Met Office’s yellow thunderstorm warnings said.

Both warnings last until 9pm.

They say people should expect possible spray and sudden flooding, which may cause power cuts, transport cancellations and damage to buildings.

Amy Bokota, a Met Office forecaster, said: “The downpours could be slow moving, and that’s the main trouble, the wind’s quite light at the moment so when they do form, they could be quite slow moving and intense.

“Where you see them they could be quite intense and dramatic, but not everywhere’s going to see them and some places just down the road could be completely fine and shower and thunderstorm-free.”

It will come before an area of low pressure approaches the UK from the east tomorrow, bringing heavy, prolonged rainfall to eastern parts of the country.

The Met Office website outlines what to expect:

  • Spray and sudden flooding could lead to difficult driving conditions and some road closures;
  • Where flooding or lightning strikes occur, there is a chance of delays and some cancellations to train and bus services;
  • There is a slight chance that power cuts could occur and other services to some homes and businesses could be lost;
  • There is a small chance that homes and businesses could be flooded quickly, with damage to some buildings from floodwater, lightning strikes, hail or strong winds.