Met Office puts millions of Britons on storm alert – seven regions face lightning in hours

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A yellow weather warning from the UK’s national weather service alerts over heavy showers and thunderstorms that may cause some impacts to travel this afternoon and evening. The severe weather could affect the East Midlands, East of England, London & South East England, North East England, North West England, West Midlands and Yorkshire & Humber.

The Met Office has said there is a good chance driving conditions will be affected by spray, standing water and/or hail, leading to longer journey times by car and bus.

Delays in public transport including train services are also possible.

Flooding of a few homes and businesses is possible, potentially leading to some damage to buildings or structures, according to the Met Office.

The service also warned that damage to buildings and structures could occur from lightning strikes, with short-term loss of power and other services possible.

More specifically, the warning affects the following areas:

East Midlands: Derby Derbyshire Leicester Leicestershire Lincolnshire Northamptonshire Nottingham Nottinghamshire Rutland.

East of England: Bedford, Cambridgeshire, Central Bedfordshire, Essex Hertfordshire, Luton, Norfolk, Peterborough, Suffolk.

London & South East England: Buckinghamshire, Milton Keynes.

North East England: Darlington, Durham, Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, Redcar and Cleveland, Stockton-on-Tees.

North West England: Cheshire East, Greater Manchester.

West Midlands: Staffordshire, Stoke-on-Trent, Warwickshire, West Midlands Conurbation.

Yorkshire & Humber: East Riding of Yorkshire, Kingston upon Hull, North East Lincolnshire, North Lincolnshire, North Yorkshire, South Yorkshire, West Yorkshire, York.

READ MORE: UK weather: Flood warnings across Britain

Frequent lightning is also possible in a few places, along with hail.

Thunderstorms occur due to the existence of cumulonimbus clouds, otherwise known as ‘The King of Clouds’, according to the Met Office.

These are menacing-looking multi-level clouds, extending high into the sky in towers or plumes, and they are the only clouds that can produce hail, thunder and lightning.

They are associated with extreme weather such as heavy torrential downpours, hail storms, lightning and even tornadoes.

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