ESSEX has been warned to prepare for a second day of thunderstorms with a new weather warning being issued.

The Met Office has issued a yellow thunderstorm warning covering most of mid and north Essex, including Chelmsford, Colchester, and coastal areas like Clacton and Harwich, which is in force between noon on Thursday and midnight.

Southern parts of the county like Southend and Basildon are not included in the new weather warning.

A separate weather warning including south Essex was issued on Wednesday and ended at 10am on Thursday.

Forecasters say there is "a small chance that homes and businesses could be flooded quickly", warning of damage to some buildings which could be caused by floodwater, lightning strikes, hail, or strong winds.

"There is a slight chance that power cuts could occur and other services to some homes and businesses could be lost," the Met Office added.

Echo: Lightning struck Southend on Wednesday nightLightning struck Southend on Wednesday night (Image: Aaron Chesham)

What is the latest weather forecast for Essex?

The Met Office says: "While some areas will remain dry, thunderstorms are likely to develop this afternoon and evening from the east and move relatively slowly westwards or northwestwards.

"Where thunderstorms occur, heavy rain accompanied by frequent lightning is likely with potential for 25 to 30mm of rain to fall in one or two hours in a few places and perhaps as much as 50mm could fall in one or two spots. In a few places there may also be some hail."

How can I prepare?

The Met Office has urged residents in Essex to consider if their homes are at risk of flash flooding.

"If so, consider preparing a flood plan and an emergency flood kit," it adds.

The warning adds: "Give yourself the best chance of avoiding delays by checking road conditions if driving, or bus and train timetables, amending your travel plans if necessary.

"People cope better with power cuts when they have prepared for them in advance. It’s easy to do; consider gathering torches and batteries, a mobile phone power pack and other essential items.

"If you find yourself outside and hear thunder, protect yourself by finding a safe enclosed shelter (such as a car). Do not shelter under or near trees, or other structures which may be struck by lightning. If you are on an elevated area move to lower ground.

"Be prepared for weather warnings to change quickly: when a weather warning is issued, the Met Office recommends staying up to date with the weather forecast in your area."