Amber weather warning issued as giant hail stones, thunder and strong winds head for Norfolk
PUBLISHED: 12:34 27 July 2018 | UPDATED: 14:33 27 July 2018
© ARCHANT NORFOLK 2002
An amber weather warning has been issued for East Anglia, as the region braces itself for a dramatic change in weather.
The Met Office has upgraded its thunderstorm warning for large parts of Norfolk and Suffolk from yellow to amber.
The warning is in place for the west of the region from 2-8pm today while a yellow warning will remain in place for the whole of Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex until 2am Saturday morning.
The warnings state that: “heavy thunderstorms are likely” and that in the event of rain: “flooding of homes and businesses is likely and could happen quickly, with damage to some buildings from floodwater, lightning strikes, hail or strong winds.
“Fast flowing or deep floodwater is likely, causing danger to life” and “where flooding or lightning strikes occur, delays and some cancellations to train and bus services are likely, spray and sudden flooding could lead to difficult driving conditions and some road closures.
“Some communities may become cut off if roads flood.”
On Twitter, Dan Holley, from Norwich based forecaster Weatherquest, tweeted: “Storms from 4pm - 8pm will likely be surface-based, and capable of large hail, damaging winds etc.”
The hail, -which could be as large as 3cm in diameter- will be caused by dramatic differences between ground and cloud temperatures. Some parts of the county have already experienced storms. Overnight people living in Thetford, Swaffam, Hunstanton and around The Wash had thunderstorms and around 25ml of rain.
Fire fighters were also called to Hunstanton Lighthouse at around 6am this morning after it was struck by lightning.
Crews from Hunstanton and Heacham attended the scene, isolating the electricity and making the building safe.
On Friday, Weatherquest’s Adam Dury said: “There will be ongoing showers and thunderstorms in West Norfolk until around midday today.
“Later in the afternoon, and early evening there is a chance of more storms across the county.”
The Norwich based forecaster predicted temperatures would reach 34C, with west Norfolk and the east coast being slightly cooler.
On Twitter Weatherquest forecaster Chris Bell tweeted a map predicting where storms would occur across the county, showing some areas could see as much as one inch of rain in an hour.
In anticipation of the rain, Breckland Police are warning of slippery road conditions, advising motorists to take care and allow plenty of room between cars.