A yellow weather warning has been issued by the Met Office for thunderstorms that are set to affect the Essex area this evening.

The entire county is included in the weather warning, along with most of south east England plus Norfolk and Suffolk.

It is expected to last from 7pm this evening (May 18) to around 3am in the early hours of the following morning (May 19).

On their website the Met Office said to expect:

  • Spray and sudden flooding could lead to difficult driving conditions and some road closures
  • Where flooding or lightning strikes occur, there is a chance of delays and some cancellations to train and bus services, as well as possible power cuts
  • There is a small chance that homes and businesses could be flooded, with damage due to floodwater or lightning strikes.

What do weather warnings mean?

A Met Office statement on the weather warning said: "Developing showers and thunderstorms are likely to intensify across parts of the warning area through the evening, before easing away eastwards after midnight.

"Quite a lot of places will probably avoid the heaviest rain and thunder, but others could experience torrential downpours and frequent lightning, while large hail and strong wind gusts may also affect a few places.

"Central parts of southern England are perhaps most likely to see impacts. Rainfall amounts will be highly variable, as is usual in such situations, but the wettest spots perhaps seeing around 25 mm of rain inside an hour, and a possibility that somewhere could catch over 40 mm in 2 or 3 hours."