Kent transport

Met Office issues yellow weather warning as thunderstorms set to hit Kent

After Kent embraced several days of rare British sunshine, the weather is looking to turn sour. The Met Office has now issued a yellow thunderstorm warning for tomorrow (June 23) as Kent is set to be battered by torrential downpours.

The warning is in place for a total of 14 hours, starting at 10 a.m. and continuing until 11:59 p.m. The Met Office has warned there is a small chance homes and businesses could quickly be flooded amid heavy rain.

It was also warned that damage could be caused to some buildings from floods, lightning strikes, hail or high winds. There is a small chance that fast-flowing or deep-flowing flood waters are life threatening.

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Transport is likely to be affected, particularly in the event of flooding and lightning, which could disrupt bus and train services, while sea spray and flash flooding can lead to difficult driving conditions. A possibility of power cuts has been prevented.

The Met Office has issued a yellow warning for thunderstorms

How to best prepare for a thunderstorm

It’s a good idea to unplug all non-essential devices before a forecast storm if you’re not using a surge protector, as lightning can cause power surges. Seek shelter if possible; hearing thunder means you are within range of where the next ground lightning may occur and lightning can strike up to 10 miles from the center of a storm.

Telephone lines can conduct electricity, so it’s best to avoid using landlines whenever possible. If you’re outdoors, it’s best to avoid water and stay in a low, open area away from trees, poles, and metal objects.

Lightning strikes the Vale of Belvoir in Leicestershire as the UK is now prepared for torrential downpours and storms that could cause flash flooding across large parts of the country.  PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo.  Picture date: Saturday July 19, 2014. See PA story Weather Heat.  Photo credit should read: Neil Squires/PA Wire
There are many steps you can take before, during and after a thunderstorm to stay safe

Activities such as golf, rod fishing, and boating in a lake should be avoided, and you should generally be aware of metal objects that can conduct electricity, such as umbrellas, bicycles, armchairs roller shutters, metal fences and rails. If you find yourself in an exposed area, it is advisable to squat low to the ground with your hands on your knees and your head between them, making sure that as little of your body as possible touches the ground.

If you feel your hair standing on end, you should immediately adopt the above position. After the storm, avoid downed power lines or broken cables.

Driving in a thunderstorm

Lightning strikes Formby
There’s a lot you can do to prepare for a thunderstorm

If you are caught driving during a thunderstorm, it is advisable to roll up the windows and stay inside the car. This is because in the vast majority of cars with a metal roof and frame, the frame will act as a conductive Faraday cage, passing current around passengers inside and on the ground.

Soft-top convertibles are most at risk and could catch fire if bumped. Currents can also pass through many other parts of modern cars, such as GPS and radio systems, interior metal handles, pedals and steering wheels.

Storms can also bring sudden strong gusts of wind, so it is advisable to give vulnerable road users, such as cyclists and motorcyclists, extra space when travelling. Reducing your speed will also greatly reduce the impact of high winds and improve your overall safety.

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