Travel disruption is expected from this evening amid a yellow weather warning for strong thunderstorms in the East of England, the Met Office reveals.

The heavy rain and thunder warning was issued this morning (May 18) and lasts from 7pm tonight until 3am tomorrow morning (May 19).

It affects the whole of the East of England, including Hertfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Essex.

According to the Met Office, here’s what we can expect from this evening:

  • 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, as well as possible power cuts
  • There is a small chance that homes and businesses could be flooded, with damage due to floodwater or lightning strikes.

A spokesperson for the Met Office said: “Developing showers and thunderstorms are likely to intensify across parts of the warning area through the evening, before easing away eastwards after midnight.

“Quite a lot of places will probably avoid the heaviest rain and thunder, but others could experience torrential downpours and frequent lightning, while large hail and strong wind gusts may also affect a few places.

“Rainfall amounts will be highly variable, as is usual in such situations, but the wettest spots perhaps seeing around 25 mm of rain inside an hour, and a possibility that somewhere could catch over 40 mm in 2 or 3 hours.”

The spokesperson added: “Thunderstorms can occur at any time of the year but it is 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.

“Hail storms can be extremely dangerous to drive in reducing your ability to see and be seen, as well as causing damage to your vehicle.

“If hail is severe, stop and pull over to a safe place and remain inside the vehicle.”