Play in the first Ashes Test has been called off as thunderstorms hit large parts of the UK.
Crowds at Edgbaston in Birmingham were seen running for their umbrellas as players left the pitch to be replaced by covers as the skies opened this afternoon.
Meanwhile revelers on the Isle of Wight got their first taste of classic British summer festival weather as forecasters for a wet afternoon came true.
The Met Office has forecast heavy rain and thunderstorms across the country this afternoon and evening, with warnings of thunder, hail, strong winds and flash flooding.
It follows Britain’s warmest start since June 1976, with warnings that despite heavy rainfall, water supplies will not be replenished enough to lift hosepipe restrictions for the 1.3 million people in south-east England currently under lockdown.
People put away their umbrellas as the rain stopped during the first Ashes Test at Edgbaston in Birmingham today.
Enjoyed the Isle of Wight Festival on Sunday despite the start of rain
A thunderstorm struck the English Channel early this morning off the coast of the Isle of Wight
The Met Office has warned that parts of Britain could receive a month’s worth of rain in three hours – with up to three inches (80mm) in some places.
The Met Office has issued two thunderstorm warnings in the UK – one covering the whole of Wales and much of England, one covering Cumbria including southern and central Scotland and the other covering large parts of Northern Ireland.
Temperatures are expected to be above average for this time of year, with a high of 25C (77F) in inland southern England, while it will be a few degrees cooler on the coast.
Spectators in Birmingham were left disappointed as the finely crafted first Test between England and Australia was suspended for almost an hour and a half in heavy rain.
Meanwhile, torrential downpours on the south coast have finally arrived at the Isle of Wight festival which has seen glorious sunshine for the previous two days.
Lightning in Manchester caused ‘fatal delays’ on the region’s Metrolink trams after lightning struck parts of the country overnight leaving some Britons awake.
The East Didsbury-Rochdale and Manchester Airport lines were suspended for several hours, while the Altrincham line faced serious delays after a technical problem caused by the strike prevented trams from leaving Trafford depot.
Meteorologists say they believe this afternoon’s thunderstorms are likely to form north of London, before moving north across the Midlands, eastern England, eastern Wales and southern areas of northern England.
However, there will be scattered showers across most of England.
Australian fans gathered under the stands at Edgbaston this afternoon after play was called off due to rain
Cricket fans put up their umbrellas as they sit in the stands waiting for the rain to stop and play to resume in Edgbaston.
Covers and floodlights were turned on at Edgbaston as players were evacuated due to rain
Festival goers on the Isle of Wight put on their coats and put up their umbrellas as they watch the show through the rain.
Isle of Wight crowd members smile and laugh as they gather on the fourth day of the festival in the rain
Storm clouds gathered on the beaches of Polzeath in Cornwall this morning as the sun pushed away
Lightning and lightning can be seen over the water during a storm in Minster, Kent, early Sunday morning
The Met Office has issued two yellow thunderstorm warnings and one yellow rain warning for Britain today. The map above shows one thunderstorm warning covering most of Northern Ireland and another covering all of Wales and almost all of England.
The Met Office has previously updated a yellow warning for thunderstorms in England and Wales that was issued yesterday, so it will be in effect from midday and last until midnight.
It warned: ‘Some places may miss most (or all) of the rain, but others could see 30mm in an hour or less and possibly 60 to 80mm in a few places in 3 to 6 hours. Frequent thunderstorms, strong winds and hail are also likely.’
The service has issued a yellow thunderstorm warning for western and central parts of Northern Ireland, which came into effect from midday and will last until 9pm.
And earlier today it issued a yellow warning for heavy rain across Cumbria and across south and central Scotland, with some places warning of more than three inches of rain.
This rain warning will remain in place from 7pm until midnight, at which point it will be replaced by a 12-hour rain warning across northern England and all of Scotland, except for the Highlands.
Half of today’s torrent is expected to fall in just one hour, prompting warnings of flash flooding and hazards for drivers.
Met Office forecaster Jonathan Vatre told the PA news agency today: ‘There could be 40mm to 60mm in some places, and even 80mm in some places, which is more than half a month’s worth of rain depending on where you are.
‘This could cause flash flood spray on the roads which could cause some difficult travel conditions over the next 24 hours.’
In June, there are an average of 12 days of rain across the UK, totaling 77mm.
The Environment Agency issued 14 flood warnings across the Midlands and northern England on Sunday morning, meaning flooding is possible.
People in Cambridge took advantage of the warm temperatures before the rain arrived this morning to get buried
A group of women laugh along the River Cam in Cambridge on Sunday morning
A rain warning will be issued for large parts of northern England and Scotland on Monday
The Met Office has warned that pollen levels are set to be high across much of the UK today, with some areas experiencing very high levels
Just 9mm of rain fell in the first two weeks of the month, the warmest start to June since the 1976 heat wave.
Many parts of Britain met the heat wave threshold last week and above average temperatures are expected to continue into next week despite unsettled conditions.
Temperatures have averaged over 10 degrees Celsius in recent days. Despite the threat of hail and thunder, highs are expected to range from 27C to 29C next week.
The deluge followed a month of fairly dry weather, with England seeing 65 per cent of its average rainfall in May. The Environment Agency urges to check its website for flood warnings throughout today.
Sarah Cook, the agency’s national flood responsibility manager, said: ‘Heavy showers and thundery showers are likely to cause localized surface water flooding across England on Sunday afternoon and overnight.
‘Environment Agency teams are on the ground and will assist local authorities in responding to surface water flooding.
‘We urge people not to drive in flood water – it is often deeper than it looks and only 30cm of flowing water is enough to float your car.
‘People should check their flood risk, sign up for free flood alerts and keep up to date with the latest flood updates.’
The Met Office’s three-month outlook predicts a 45 per cent chance of heat this summer – 2.3 times the normal chance.
Met Office spokesman Ollie Claydon said: ‘The long-range forecast suggests it is likely to be an above average summer in terms of temperatures.
‘An area of high pressure has been dominating for quite some time and so the temperature has risen.’
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