Skies lit up by storm – and there’s more on the way

Thunder and lightning over Swindon     Picture: Linda Mitchell Akehurst

Thunder and lightning over Swindon Picture: Linda Mitchell Akehurst

First published in News by

MORE thunderstorms are expected to hit Swindon this weekend with a risk of flooding in the town and the rest of Wiltshire.

While a heatwave is due to sweep the East of England, the South West will continue to lean towards the other end of the scale after Thursday night’s downpours, with a yellow rain warning issued for the whole region.

Temperatures will stay warm and the weather clammy most of the weekend but brief spots of sunshine will be interspersed with rain and thunder.

Despite the ferocity of thunderstorms over the last two days, Swindon escaped the worst with no incidents reported to emergency services, but Wiltshire Fire and Rescue urges residents to remain careful.

A spokesman said: “Where possible, unplug or switch off electrical appliances and other equipment, be vigilant and look out for damage to property, do not approach any damaged or fallen power lines as they could be still live and if your property is struck by lightning, leading to a fire, get out, stay out, and call 999.

“Drivers are also warned to take extra care on the roads during a storm. Reduce speed and remember that stopping distances will be at least double needed to stop on dry roads.”

The freak weather could put a dampener on festivities across Swindon this weekend – one of most event-packed of the summer so far.

A host of parties and festivals are due to be staged today including the Mechanics’ Trust Children’s Fete in Faringdon Park, the South Marston Fete, Swindon Chilli Fiesta in Wharf Green and A Bed Push across town for Prospect Hospice.

A Met Office spokesman said: “Following a build up of very warm and humid air at the end of this week there is the potential for the development of intense thunderstorms.

“Significant flooding is possible from surface water as well as from small, fast-responding watercourses.

“The frequent lightning, large hail and strong gusts could also be an additional hazard. !The public should be aware of the risk of disruption.”

Andy Page, Chief Meteorologist at the Met Office said there was a chance of flash flooding from Saturday as well aslightning and large hail.

He said “However, there are a lot of factors that have to come together to set off this situation, so it remains a risk rather than a certainty at the moment.

“We encourage everyone to stay up-to-date with the latest picture through our forecasts and warnings.”

n See more storm pictures on our galler at swindonadvertiser.co.uk

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