WORCESTERSHIRE is bracing itself for a second bout of violent thunderstorms which are set to batter the county for much of today.

The Met Office has issued an amber warning for rain for the West Midlands, as more humid air is pumped up from the continent, causing torrential downpours, crackling lightning and even hail.

As much of the county basked in soaring temperatures yesterday, forecasters were warning a second, more-prolonged spell of thunderstorms could be on its way from the early hours of today.

Nearly an inch of rain is predicted and could causing flash flooding, fast-flowing streams and overflowing drains and culverts.

Ian Michaelwaite, of netweather.tv in Pershore, said the first sign of bad weather would rear its head from the early hours of this morning.

“There will be flashes on the horizon, a few rumbles of thunder and a few specks of rain, then it’s going to pick up with a lot more activity,” he said.

“There will be violent storms kicking into gear, squally winds and the potential for some big hail. There could be two or maybe three waves of storms.”

The weatherman said that following Thursday night’s spectacular thunderstorms, which saw 34,500 lightning strikes across the UK and Ireland, a second day of storms was a rare occurrence.

“You don’t see something like this come off two nights,” he said. “If you’re storm fan, it’s quite an exciting sight.”

The weatherman said the storms potentially could last through the morning and throughout the day until evening.

“It’s a typical British storm, sunshine and showers,” he said. “There will probably be some spectacular rainbows early and late.Temperatures in the sun will be 20C or 21C, but with the humidity from the mid-20s.”

Extra Worcestershire Highways staff will be on standby this weekend and motorists are being reminded to take care, as the predicted downpours could make conditions difficult at times.

Additional gangs, including gully emptiers, are on standby to help minimise any potential disruption.

Councillor John Smith, Worcestershire County Council cabinet member for highways, said additional highways staff would be on duty.

“Additional Worcestershire Highways gangs are on standby to help wherever they can if the need arises,” he said.

“As ever, we’d ask people to take care and not take unnecessary risks.

“Temper driving according to the conditions and, most importantly, keep safe.”