Torrential downpours have hit the UK, with parts of Essex seeing more than an inch of rain in just one hour.
Andrewsfield in Essex recorded 1.43 inches (36.4 mm) of rain in the early hours of Thursday as heavy downpours and thunderstorms lashed east and south-east England.
A yellow thunderstorm warning is in place for London and the south-east, eastern England and the east Midlands until 3pm, with forecasters saying flooding is likely amid ” heavy rains”.
In east London, Dagenham Heathway station was closed on Thursday morning due to flooding caused by heavy rain, while several exits were closed at Charing Cross station in central London.
The Met Office has warned of difficult driving conditions and some road closures due to showers and standing water.
Train delays and possible loss of power and other services are also likely.
The Environment Agency has issued six alerts for areas where “flooding is possible”.
The weather warning comes after a period of dry weather that has seen parts of England declared drought, with dry grass and crops in trouble, streams drying up and low levels in rivers, reservoirs and aquifers, and pipe bans for millions of people as heat waves increased. water demand
As of Wednesday, the UK as a whole had only had 46% of the average August rainfall total.
The bank holiday is expected to be largely dry with periods of warm sunshine, although possibly wetter in the northwest.
Temperatures could rise into the 30s or mid-20s depending on how high pressure builds, the Met Office said.
Spokesman Grahame Madge said: “We have definitely changed from the warm and dry regime to something with rain in the forecast.”
Although the showers will mean this month will “catch up a bit” on rainfall totals, he said: “It will certainly be a dry August for the whole of the UK.”
And he said some areas had been without significant rainfall since mid-June until last week.
“We’ve had below-average rainfall for so long, it’s going to take a period of above-average rainfall to make up for it,” he warned.
It remains to be seen whether this period of above-average rainfall will be forthcoming, with the Met Office releasing its seasonal forecast of likely conditions over the coming months next week.
The weather may change: the very dry summer of 1976 was followed by rains that brought rainfall levels back to average by late autumn.
But scientists warn that climate change is making extreme weather more likely, increasing heat waves, droughts and heavy rain events that can lead to flash floods.