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Staffordshire braced for thunderstorms after heat wave

By Staffordshire Newsletter  |  Posted: July 18, 2014

Joe Carroll, aged four, keeps cool in Stafford's Victoria Park

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THE Met Office is warning of severe thunderstorms and potential flooding across Staffordshire, after temperatures peaked at 27C in Stafford today, Friday, in this week's short-lived heat wave. 

A warm and sticky Friday night is forecast, with temperatures dropping no lower than 18C.  And heavy, thundery showers will move in overnight, bringing torrential downpours, hail and frequent lightning to places. There will also be strong, gusty winds.

A Met Office spokesman said "significant" flooding was possible, due to surface water and overflowing watercourses."Broad areas can be identified as at risk some time in advance but detail will remain very uncertain until very close to the event," the spokesman said. "Some areas will miss the worst of the storms while nearby spots experience severe downpours, with some localised flooding. The public are advised to to stay in touch with the latest forecasts and warnings through Saturday.

There may be drier and brighter intervals on Saturday as well, for areas escaping the storms, and it will also remain warm and humid. Temperatures are due to drop to around 22C or 23C from Sunday or Monday onwards.

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While high temperatures persist, health officials are warning people to keep out of the sun in the middle of day and drink plenty of fluids.

And Staffordshire County Council has advised people to look for others especially vulnerable groups such as older people, young children and babies and those with serious illnesses

Robbie Marshall, Staffordshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, said: “While many of us enjoy the hot weather, high temperatures can be cause problems for people who may be particularly vulnerable such as older people, young children and those with serious illnesses.

“The most important thing is that everyone enjoys the sun safely and sensibly by keeping out of the heat at the hottest time of the day, avoiding sunburn and drinking plenty of water.

“Older people and those with long-term illnesses are particularly vulnerable to the effects of very hot weather, so it’s important to keep an eye on elderly relatives and neighbours.”

A RSPCA spokesman reminded people to take care of their pets in the heat: 

“While people enjoy the warm weather, it can be easy to forget just how quickly our pets can start to suffer in the warm weather, so please don`t be caught out," he said.

“Make sure your pets have access to a shady spot where they can shelter from the sun. Never make the mistake of thinking leaving a bowl of water out or opening a window is enough to protect your animal from the potentially fatal effects of heatstroke.

“It is worth remembering that dogs aren`t the only animals that can be affected by the hot weather. Other pets should be given plenty of shelter and shade to prevent them from suffering.

“If you think your animal is suffering from heatstroke, move them to a cooler spot straight away before ringing your vet immediately for advice. Heat stroke can result in coma or death in extreme instances.”

Temperatures in air conditioned cars can reach the same temperature as outside within five minutes of the air conditioning being turned off. 

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