Builders across the country are rejoicing as they are rained off site and head straight to the pub ahead of tonight’s Euro 2020 clash between England and Scotland as thunderstorms batter the UK.
Britain’s heatwave is well and truly over as lightning and torrential rain struck throughout the country overnight.
Rain began to fall on Wednesday, which fell short of becoming the hottest day of the year so far when a high of 29.2C (84.56F) was recorded at Heathrow, short of the 29.7C (85.46F) peak felt in Teddington, Middlesex, on Monday.
And the Met Office has even issued a yellow weather warning to the east and south of the country for thunderstorms and potential flooding. It added that some areas could become cut off from by floods and there is a risk of power cuts.
But the downpours haven’t dampened the spirits of football fans, with some builders’ sites being rained off because of the deluge meaning that workers can get an early start at the pub ahead of the match.
One unnamed builder said: ‘God is an Englishman, this rain could not have worked out better. I’m going home for some breakfast, then straight to the pub. It’s coming home!’
Britain’s heatwave is well and truly over as lightning and torrential rain struck throughout the country overnight. Pictured: Lightning in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk
Scottish Football supporters William Deighan (left) and Phillip Jones (right) in the rain in Leicester Square ahead of England vs Scotland UAFA Euro 2020 football match tonight
People in the rain around Leicester Square as the capital is struck with a deluge of rain
Workers who have been rained off building sites across the country are rejoicing
And in Leicester Square two Scotland supporters were spotted enjoying a couple of pints over a full English breakfast at a Wetherspoon pub.
Others took to Twitter to voice their excitement at their upcoming trips to boozers across the UK with one saying: ‘Pub at the crack of dawn then straight to the capital, today is going to be fantastic.’
While another wrote: ‘The good thing about tonight’s game is we can go to the pub, regardless of the result I’m expecting it’s going to be a class occasion.’
And another said: ‘All the lads working on site will be fizzing today, it’s Friday, it’s pouring with rain so they’ll get rained off just in time to go pub all day and watch England v Scotland.’
While another one wrote: ‘What a day to be rained off!!!! Let the madness begin.’
Football fans have already been predicted to buy 3.4million pints during tonight’s match and the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) estimates that 14.8 million pints will be sold across England and Scotland throughout the whole day, with over 3 million sales during the game itself.
But the trade association warned that due to Covid-19 restrictions, including social distancing, rule of six and no standing, that beer sales will be reduced by almost 850,000 pints – causing a revenue loss of around £3.2 million for pubs across England and Scotland.
Chief executive of the British Beer and Pub Association Emma McClarkin said: ‘Whether you’re supporting England or Scotland, nothing beats watching the game at the pub.
‘Given pubs have been closed or faced restrictions for more than a year in both England and Scotland, every little helps and is critical to their recovery and survival.
‘Given the delay in England to the lockdown and with rumours suggesting a similar delay could be coming in Scotland, it is a real great shame that fans will not even be able to enjoy the tournament without restrictions in the latter stages. All restrictions on pubs in England and Scotland must be removed as soon as possible for our sector to survive and recover.’
And in Leicester Square two Scotland supporters were spotted enjoying a couple of pints over a full English breakfast at a Wetherspoon pub
Met Office has even issued a yellow weather warning to the east and south of the country for thunderstorms and potential flooding. It added that some areas could become cut off from by floods and there is a risk of power cuts. Pictured: Lightning in Great Yarmouth
Lightning in Great Yarmouth in Norfolk as the good weather ends bringing thunderstorms around the country
Scottish football fans who arrived early for tonight’s match gather in a park in London
A group of Scotland fans are seen boarding the train to London at Edinburgh ahead of the match tonight
Scotland fans at Edinburgh Waverley railway station as they prepare to travel to London to watch tonight’s match
Scotland fans at Edinburgh Waverley railway station as they prepare to travel to London ahead of the UEFA Euro 2020 match between England and Scotland at Wembley Stadium
A Scottish football fan who lost his kilt is dealt with by police officers in London yesterday ahead of tonight’s match
The rain is expected to carry on all day and into the night and until tomorrow which the Met Office predicts will see dry sunny spells.
Met Office spokesman Stephen Dixon said: ‘In short, our current forecasts don’t indicate a heatwave on the immediate horizon, although looking as far ahead as the June 25, obviously brings a level of uncertainty into the forecast.
‘Current indications suggest spells of warm, settled conditions from late June heading into July, but rainfall amounts are also expected to be at around average levels for the time of year.’
And the flooding caused the Blackwall Tunnel in Tower Hamlets, east London, to close briefly this morning – leading to a backlog of traffic causing chaos on the roads.
The thunderstorms are the result of a small, low-pressure system moving in from Europe, with warmer surface-level air meeting colder upper air.
Storms began to build across the English Channel on Wednesday afternoon and reached the southern coast of England at around 7pm.
A lightning strike hit Arlington Reservoir in Berwick, East Sussex, at 8pm on Wednesday – marking the first of a number of thunder storms expected over the next three days.
And in Kent violent thunderstorms have led to a very bleak prospect for local swimmers as a warning was put out saying: ‘Stay out of the sea or you’ll get covered in human excrement!’.
A bolt of lightning struck a sewage pumping station at Margate on Wednesday night and as a result, thousands of gallons of untreated waste has been flooding into the English Channel near prime sunbathing beaches, from Margate’s main sands around the coast to Joss Bay in Broadstairs, a distance of about ten miles.
Southern Water says a team of 20 staff with tractors and diggers to scoop the sewage off the sand have been making ‘good progress’ on the clean-up.
A woman battles in the rain with her umbrella around Leicester Square this morning
Two women walk through the downpour in London this morning
But people have been advised not to enter the sea or the beach below the high water mark between Margate Main Sands and Joss Bay until the all-clear is given.
Southern Water said yesterday ‘We’re very sorry to report that due to a lightning strike at Margate Pumping Station overnight, waste water was released via the emergency outfall into Palm Bay and Margate Sands.
‘The site was damaged and suffered a power outage during the heavy storm, and the heavily diluted incoming flows were diverted through the outfall to prevent wastewater backing up and to protect local properties from internal flooding. A team had been placed at site in preparation for the bad weather, so was able to immediately begin work to restore services.
‘The clean-up is now well advanced, in partnership with Thanet council, and our priority is to ensure that the beaches can re-open safely to the public as quickly as possible. The clean-up crew will return to the beach after high tide to check for any residual debris which has washed up on shore and will continue to monitor the coastline.
‘The pumping station is operating normally following repairs. No pollution is acceptable and we’re working with the Environment Agency, Natural England and the local authority to assess the impact on the environment. We apologise to the local residents and businesses affected by this incident.’