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Met Office issues yellow thunderstorm warning for Kent as heatwave continues

Thunderstorms are predicted to strike Kent today, with a yellow weather warning in place between 2pm and midnight.

The Met Office has predicted heavy showers and flooding in some places, while others will avoid the intense rainfall completely.

Experts have warned that up to 30mm of rain could fall in just one hour - causing chaos on Kent's roads as commuters rush home for the weekend.

Met Office experts have issued a yellow weather warning for tomorrow. Picture: Met Office
Met Office experts have issued a yellow weather warning for tomorrow. Picture: Met Office

The rain will certainly come as a relief for crop farmers, for whom cornfield fires remain an ever-present threat as the dry weather continues.

The Met Office said: "High temperatures may set off some heavy showers and thunderstorms, which in some places could be slow-moving and persistent, bringing a risk of flooding.

"Spray and sudden flooding could lead to difficult driving conditions with the possibility of road closure.

A 57-acre field was completely destroyed by an out-of-control bonfire in West Malling
A 57-acre field was completely destroyed by an out-of-control bonfire in West Malling

"Where flooding or lightning strikes occur, there is a chance of delays and some cancellations to train, bus and tube services, particularly during the evening rush hour."

The good weather is expected to return by Monday, with temperatures set to reach 29C in Gravesend and around 27C along Kent's coastline.

Things may be a bit cloudy over the weekend, but temperatures should sit happily in the mid twenties across most of the county.

Five facts about heatwaves

1 How hot does it need to get to be a heatwave?

According to the Met Office, there’s no official definition for a heatwave within the UK.

According to the World Meteorological Organisation, it’s when the average daily temperature exceeds the normal maximum temperature by 5C for more than five consecutive days.

However, this would feel very different depending on which part of the world you’re in, so experts are currently working on a clearer definition specifically for the UK.

2 How hot does it need to be to skip work?

The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992, says there must be a reasonable temperature where you work.

There’s no law on maximum working temperature, but it’s your employer's responsibility to ensure your workplace doesn’t become uncomfortably hot.

The Trades Union Congress (TUC) believes it should be illegal for people to remain at work if temperatures rise about 30C .

But, because there’s no official limit, action can be taken as long as a significant number of employees feel uncomfortable.

3 Can you die from the effects of a heatwave?

Heatwaves can affect anyone, but older people, young children and people with a serious chronic condition are among those who are most vulnerable, according to the NHS.

People with serious mental health problems, those who take medications that impact temperature control, and people who misuse alcohol and drugs could also be deemed at risk.

Technically, a heatwave can kill, but the Met Office has a sophisticated warning system in place to ensure people stay informed about extreme temperatures.

High temperatures are known to increase the risk of serious problems, like heart attacks and strokes, and it is important to stay cool for people with heart failure.

4 You really can be as cool as a cucumber

The phrase “cool as a cucumber” is actually a scientific fact.

Even during a heatwave, the inside of a cucumber can be as much as 11C cooler than the outside temperature.

5 Which was the UK’s sunniest summer?

Britain’s sunniest summer on record was during the heatwave of 1976.

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