Original article from Kent Live
Kent has basked in a sweltering heatwave over the last fortnight.
Clear skies and peaks in the high-20Cs brought some much needed change from the cold and wet first half of the year.
However, that is all set to come to an abrupt end this week – at least for the time being.
Thunderstorms are set to batter the county over the next 72 hours as the heatwave breaks, with a yellow weather warning issued until midnight on Friday (June 18) by the Met Office.
Temperatures will drop to the low 20s, and in a change from the stable clear weather we've grown used to in the last few weeks, showers and cloudy patches will return to the skies over the south east.
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According to NetWeather, Kent could be in for 20mm of rain in one day alone, with 26mm coming on Friday – a considerable amount of rainfall for this time of year.
Though the Met Office has predicted highs of 31C for today (June 16), this will not last into the evening, as scattered afternoon showers give way to an absolute downpour in the early hours of Thursday morning.
Some areas will be hit sooner than others, though – so here is a rundown of when the storms will hit every Kent town.
Ashford isn't set to be hit by too much rain today (June 16).
However there is a chance that the early bands of rain that will sweep across the county could creep north and catch the town as they pass over this evening.
Showers are set to cross Dungeness and Lydd this evening at around 10pm, which could stretch up to Ashford if the weather were to shift later today.
However, when the storms do hit, Ashford will be at the epicentre – as the county-wide downpours scheduled for 4am on June 17 are set to see 8-16mm fall on Ashford alone.
This makes the town the part of the county most likely to see the heaviest rain over the next 24 hours.
Canterbury should avoid any notable rainy spells on June 16, hitting highs of 31C according to Accuweather.
However, it will be caught in the country-wide storm set to hit in the early hours of June 17.
Met Office forecasts indicate that the city will get off fairly lightly, with rain beginning at around 7am on Thursday, and being in the lowest precipitation bracket of between 0.01 and 0.5mm of rain per hour.
Rainfall will be more scattered on Thursday – but Canterbury may be hit by another wave of rain at around midday, though the temperature will still be warm at 24C.
Chatham, Gillingham and Rochester
Chatham, as well as nearby Rochester and Gillingham, are likely to see out Wednesday without too much rain.
However, like Ashford, this will not last into Thursday, as rain will hit the north western part of Kent at around 4am, and by 7am on June 17 Chatham will be experiencing some of the heaviest rain in the county.
Downpours could dump up to 16mm of rain per hour on the nearby towns, making for a very wet start to the day.
The area will also be slightly cooler than the rest of Kent tomorrow, sitting at around 22C.
Dartford is unlikely to see any rain until the early hours of Thursday – with 4-8mm of rain per hour to hit at 4am.
This should ease as the morning goes on, though – with only 1-2mm of rain to be falling by 7am.
From there on in, Dartford isn't expected to be hit by any other isolated showers, meaning the rest of Thursday should be largely clear and warm, at around 23C.
Dover could be in for scattered showers at around 2pm today (June 16), as rain falls off the coast in the English Channel.
However, the rest of the afternoon should be dry, with the next bout of wet weather landing at 10pm, though this is not quite the thunderstorm predicted.
The weather will be at its most extreme at 4am on June 17, with a heavy patch of rain expected to pass over the seaside town in the early hours of the morning, potentially landing 16mm of rain.
The temperature tomorrow will be a relatively cool 22C.
Folkestone could be amongst the first parts of Kent to experience showers – with light rainfall scheduled for as early as 1pm on June 16.
Rain is set to hit just off the coast of Folkestone at around 1pm today.
Though there is the possibility that the rain forecast by the Met Office will miss the seaside town this afternoon.
The weather should remain dry from then until 4am on Thursday (June 17) when the largest band of rain will hit Kent, landing Folkestone in the same heavy deluge set for neighbouring Dover.
Gravesend will see rain along with the rest of north west Kent in the early hours of Thursday, between 4 and 7am.
Temperatures are expected to hold up though – staying at a warm 24C.
Herne Bay will avoid the heaviest rain until Thursday morning, remaining dry today.
However, it is likely to experience rain throughout the morning of June 17, falling from 4am to 10am, as Kent's north coast stays wet whilst missing the torrential rain set for more central areas.
Maidstone will also only be hit by rain in the early morning on Thursday – but when rain arrives, it could be some of the heaviest for the county.
4-8mm of rain per hour are forecast between sunrise and 7am, though it is set to clear up by 10am, with highs of 22C on June 17.
Showers are forecast for Thursday afternoon, as isolated patches of rain sweep across Kent.
Margate may avoid the worst of the rain altogether according to the Met Office.
Unlike southerly neighbour Ramsgate, the weather systems that will pass over Kent on the morning of June 17 don't quite hit the north-easterly tip of Kent, with only a chance of showers at 10pm on June 16 to threaten Margate.
Highs of 23C can be expected tomorrow.
Ramsgate is set to be an early recipient of the wave of rain along with Folkestone.
The coast south of the Thanet seaside town will experience some rain in the early afternoon, with heavier bands of rain landing late this evening.
From 10pm onwards, Ramsgate will be in the firing line – but the worst of the weather is set to hit in the early hours of June 17, with downpours from 4am onward into the morning.
Sevenoaks will see heavy rain at 4am on Thursday morning, with 2-8mm of water falling per hour until 7am.
Much like the rest of west Kent, it will be relatively free from rain through to June 17, meaning the highs of 22C should be uninterrupted into tomorrow evening
Tunbridge Wells and nearby Tonbridge will be caught in the same heavy rain as Sevenoaks by 4am on June 17, though this should have eased to a relatively light 1-2mm by 7am.
The town however may be struck by heavier bands of rain heading into Thursday afternoon.
Temperatures should hit highs of 24C.