The Met Office has issued a yellow weather warning for thunder and lightning in the south. The alert was issued with immediate effect at 2:51 p.m., and it is in place until 7:00 p.m. tonight.
The alert warns people of a weather system passing now, which can bring lightning and could lead to potential disruptions. People are warned of the potential short-term electrical hazard, as well as possible damage to certain buildings and structures.
A yellow warning indicates that the forecast is “highly probable”. The Met Office explains: “An area of storms are forecast to move northeast across the south west and south of England on Saturday afternoon. These can bring frequent lightning strikes to venues for a short period before clearing to the northeast. A brief period of heavy rain is also likely, but given the speed of travel, lightning is considered more likely to be a hazard. The most frequent lightning is likely to occur in parts of Cornwall and Devon.
Affected areas are expected to include Hampshire, Bournemouth Christchurch and Poole, Dorset, Wiltshire, Devon and Somerset. A full map of the affected areas can be seen above.
The Met Office reminds people that thunderstorms in summer can produce “large hail, gusty winds and torrential downpours which can disrupt transport networks and damage property”. People are advised not to use fixed lines during extreme lightning, except in emergencies, and to avoid large metal structures. Also be careful if you intend to drive.