More storms on the way after almost a month’s worth of rain falls in a day

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There are more thunderstorms on the way after the UK was battered with almost a month’s worth of rain in a day.

The Met Office has issued yellow warnings for thunderstorms and rain in England and Scotland for the next four days possibly causing more flooding and transport disruption.

The new warnings come as homes, roads and Tube stations were flooded in the south of England, with a flooded hospital cancelling all surgery and outpatient appointments on Monday due to the heavy rain.

The basement at Whipps Cross Hospital in east London was flooded, causing damage to the electrical system and a loss of power.

A major incident was called across Barts Health NHS Trust, with staff moving around 100 inpatients from affected wards, including to other hospitals within the Barts Health group.

Weather warnings for thunderstorms
(PA Graphics)

Ambulances are currently being diverted to other hospital emergency departments to relieve the pressure on Whipps Cross.

The emergency department at the hospital remains open for walk-ins but patients requiring urgent treatment are asked to attend alternative hospitals where possible.

Newham Hospital is now fully operational after also being affected by flooding.

Summer weather July 25th 2021
Two women walk through heavy rain in St James’s Park in central London (Victoria Jones/PA)

A spokeswoman for Barts Health NHS Trust said: “We are continuing to experience operational issues at Whipps Cross Hospital due to the heavy rainfall yesterday.

“We cancelled all planned surgery and outpatient appointments for today, and are diverting ambulances while we work hard to clean up affected areas of the hospital.”

The wettest part of the country on Sunday was St James’s Park in London, where 41.8mm of rain fell.

The average rainfall for July in London is 45mm , so almost a month’s worth of rain fell in one 24-hour period.

The daily rainfall value of 41.8mm recorded at St James’s Park is that weather station’s second-wettest July day on record.

Summer weather July 25th 2021
A car drives through flood water in Horse Guards Road in central London (Victoria Jones/PA)

Prime Minister Boris Johnson tweeted on Monday afternoon: “My thoughts are with everyone affected by the flooding in London and the South East.

“A huge thank you to the emergency services and volunteers helping families and businesses through this difficult time.”

A yellow thunderstorm warning is in place for parts of Kent and Sussex between 10am and 5pm on Monday while another yellow storm warning has been issued for much of the Midlands and northern England between 9am on Tuesday and 6am on Wednesday.

A yellow thunderstorm warning is in place for most of Scotland for 12 hours from noon on Tuesday, while yellow rain warnings also follow for all of Wednesday and the early hours of Thursday morning.

A Met Office spokesman said an official study would have to be completed before any connections to the weekend’s weather can be linked to climate change, but added that the science indicates that warmer air can hold more water, so rainfall is increasing on average across the world.

He said: “In some places, rainfall is becoming more intense as well. Heavy rainfall is also more likely.

“Since 1998, the UK has seen seven of the 10 wettest years on record. The winter storms in 2015 were at least 40% more likely because of climate change.”

Floods in Stoke Newington
Cars drive through standing water in Stoke Newington, east London (Ian Hinchcliffe/PA)

Greenpeace UK’s policy director, Doug Parr, said there seems to be “a reluctance from governments to act decisively on climate change until the flood waters are lapping at your toes”.

He added: “Extreme weather of the kind being experienced across the world this summer will only increase in the UK, in both frequency and intensity, unless action is taken to curb emissions.

“With the UK hosting this autumn’s crucial climate talks, Boris Johnson must grab the bull by the horns and set an example for others to follow.”

The Environment Agency has one flood warning in place for Whitwell, Wroxall, Langbridge, Alverstone on the Eastern Yar in the south, as well as 10 flood alerts around England.

A No 10 spokesman said: “The Environment Agency are looking at the situation closely and continue to work with local authorities to ensure that any support they need is provided.”

A man wades through a flooded road
A man wades through a flooded road near Swallowfield, Berkshire (Steve Parsons/PA)

The spokesman said it was a matter for scientists whether to attribute individual events to global warming but “the Prime Minister completely agrees that climate change is going to lead to more extreme weather events, which is why we are doing what we’re doing to try and reduce greenhouse gases”.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said it remains a key priority for him that more is done urgently to tackle flooding and the other impacts of climate change.

“This includes continuing to urge Thames Water to address localised issues with infrastructure that may exacerbate the impact of flooding,” he said.

Dr Jess Neumann, a hydrologist from the University of Reading, said: “Although it is not possible to attribute a single event to climate change, what we do know is that a warming atmosphere can hold more moisture and we are seeing an increasing number of storm events leading to flooding, with rainfall records being broken time and time again.

“The severity and frequency of flooding is a stark warning that we are not prepared to deal with climate change.”

She added: “Flooding from intense summer rainfall is going happen more frequently.

“No city, town or village is immune to flooding and we all need to take hard action right now if we are to prevent impacts from getting worse in the future.

“There needs to be a complete shift away from all use of fossil fuels to renewable energy sources.”

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