Warning of ‘danger to life’ from flooding as thunderstorms strike

Thunderstorms will strike across large parts of Scotland today – with a warning that flooding could cause “danger to life”.

The Met Office has issued a yellow weather alert – stretching from the Scottish Borders up to Edinburgh, Fife, Perthshire, Tayside, Aberdeenshire, Moray and parts of the Highlands.

The warning came into force at 11am and runs until 10pm tonight.

The slow-moving heavy showers and thunderstorms may cause flooding and disruption in places – including difficult driving conditions, travel delays and power cuts.

The Met Office has warned: “There is a small chance that homes and businesses could be flooded quickly, with damage to some buildings from floodwater, lightning strikes, hail or strong winds.

“There is a small chance of fast-flowing or deep floodwater causing danger to life.”

The yellow weather alert for Monday. Pic: Met Office
The yellow weather alert for Monday. Pic: Met Office

Check the weather forecast in your area

More on Scotland

Between 30mm and 40mm of rain is possible.

Much of the UK experienced thunderstorms on Sunday, with the Met Office issuing a warning for most of the north of England and parts of Wales.

Another warning was issued on Sunday morning for large swathes of central, southern, and southwestern England.

Stay safe in thunder and lightning

Before the thunderstorm:
• Lightning can cause power surges, so unplug any non-essential appliances if not already using a surge protector.
• Seek shelter if possible. When you hear thunder you are already within range of where the next ground flash may occur. Lightning can strike as far as 10 miles away from the centre of a storm.

During the thunderstorm:
• Telephone lines can conduct electricity so try to avoid using the landline, unless in an emergency.
• If outside, avoid water and find a low-lying open place that is a safe distance from trees, poles or metal objects.
• Be aware of metal objects that can conduct or attract lightning, including golf clubs, golf buggies, fishing rods, umbrellas, motorbikes, bicycles, wheelchairs, mobility scooters, pushchairs, wire fencing and rails. If you are in a tent, try to stay away from the metal poles.
• If you find yourself in an exposed location, it may be advisable to squat close to the ground with your hands on your knees and your head tucked between them. Try to touch as little of the ground with your body as possible. Do not lie down on the ground.
•If you feel your hair stand on end, drop to the above position immediately.

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After the thunderstorm:
• Avoid downed power lines or broken cables.
•If someone is struck by lightning, they often suffer severe burns. The strike also affects the heart, so check if they have a pulse.

Driving in a thunderstorm:
• If you are caught out in thunder and lightning, it is advised that you wind up the windows and stay inside your car. In the vast majority of cars with a metal roof and frame, the frame will act as a conductive Faraday cage, passing the current around the passengers inside and on to the ground.
• Soft-top convertibles, with their fabric roofs, are the most at risk and could catch fire if struck by lightning.
• Be aware that current can travel through other parts of many modern cars, including GPS and radio systems. Cars with metal interior handles, foot pedals and steering wheels can also carry current.
• Cars can be damaged both internally and externally by lightning strikes.
• Thunderstorms can also bring a risk of sudden gusty winds. Those most at risk would include cyclists, motorcyclists and high-sided vehicles.
• Remember to give vulnerable road users including cyclists, motorcyclists and pedestrians more room than usual.
• Keep your speed down. Lowering your speed will lower the distance you travel when buffeted around by the wind.
• Hailstorms can be extremely dangerous to drive in – reducing your ability to see and be seen, as well as causing damage to your vehicle. If hail is severe, stop and pull over to a safe place and remain inside the vehicle.

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