Weather warning issued as ‘severe thunderstorms’ could hit Essex
A yellow weather warning has been issued for thunderstorms for parts of Essex this afternoon (September 1), with the weather likely to cause significant delays on the roads. The warning from the Met Office is in place from 1pm to 7pm today.
The Met Office has advised that heavy and thundery showers will develop from the afternoon and sweep across most of the county until the afternoon. The warning is also in place for parts of East Anglia.
The only areas of Essex not affected by the warning are Clacton-on-Sea and Frinton-on-Sea, and parts of the coast near Harwich.
The Met Office has advised that there is a good chance driving conditions will be affected by spray, and standing water, leading to longer journey times by car and bus. There is also a chance of flooding of a few homes and businesses, leading to some damage to buildings or structures.
There could be some damage to a few buildings and structures from lightning strikes, as well as short-term loss of power. Additionally, there could be possible delays to train services.
Thunderstorms can occur at any time of the year but during the summer months when thunderstorms in the UK are most likely to produce large hail, gusty winds and torrential downpours that can cause disruption to transport networks and damage property.
Some advice for staying safe in storms, issued by the Met Office:
Before the thunderstorm
- Lightning can cause power surges, unplug any non-essential appliances if not already using a surge protector.
- Seek shelter if possible. When you hear thunder you are already within range of where the next ground flash may occur, lightning can strike as far as 10 miles away from the centre of a storm.
During the thunderstorm
- Telephone lines can conduct electricity so try to avoid using the landline, unless in an emergency
- If outside avoid water and find a low-lying open place that is a safe distance from trees, poles or metal objects
- Avoid activities such as golf, rod fishing or boating on a lake
- Be aware of metal objects that can conduct or attract lightning, including golf clubs, golf buggies, fishing rods, umbrellas, motorbikes, bicycles, wheelchairs, mobility scooters, pushchairs, wire fencing and rails. If you are in a tent, try to stay away from the metal poles
- If you find yourself in an exposed location it may be advisable to squat close to the ground, with hands on knees and with head tucked between them. Try to touch as little of the ground with your body as possible, do not lie down on the ground
- If you feel your hair stand on end, drop to the above position immediately
After the thunderstorm
- Avoid downed power lines or broken cables
- If someone is struck by lightning, they often suffer severe burns. The strike also affects the heart, so check if they have a pulse
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