Essex: Amber warning as major storm predicted for tonight

3:32pm Thursday 5th July 2012

Essex residents could be in for a mega storm tonight as forecasters predict two months' worth of rain will pound down across the county in just six hours.

Meteorologists from the Essex Weather Centre fear downpours could become so heavy, it could lead to some parts of Friday’s Olympic Torch relay being called off.

The worst affected areas will be north of the county, with Clacton, Colchester, Braintree and Maldon particularly coming in for a battering.

Basildon and Southend are also expected to get hit with heavy showers, but things should brighten up by th time the Olympic Torch reaches south Essex in the afternoon.

An “Amber Warning” has now been issued for Essex. This has not happened since February when there was heavy snow.

The alert is the second highest weather experts can give,and tells residents to “be prepared” for violent storms.

Essex Weather Centre meteorologist, Tom Defty said the worst will come between midnight and 6am, first hitting the Clacton area before moving across Colchester and later onto south Essex “All the ingredients are there for a violent storm. If it happens it could be a memorable event.

“The problem is there is a supercell storm coming over the North Sea. The North Sea does funny things to storms, nearly always making them a lot worse.

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Discover the Shocking Truth About Britain's Hottest Diet... Southend Rendezvous Welcome to the Place to Eat, Drink & Play. Become a Member Today. “With so much rain in such a short space of time you get flash floods and then the water goes into the river, ultimately leading to more flooding.

“I wouldn't be surprised if the early morning legs of the Olympic relay in the Colchester and Maldon area have to be cancelled.

“It should be better in Basildon in the late afternoon however it is likely to be very cloudy.”

Tom added: “It’s a real shame. We just couldn’t have worse weather on such an important day.

“it’s the same as the Jubilee last month, which took place on the coldest June day in Essex ever on record.”

The Essex Weather Centre’s computers predict we could see as much as 70 mms of rain in six hours. The average amount of rainfall for all of July is only 36mms.

Experts from the centre will be tweeting live updates about the weather all throughout Thursday night/Friday morning. Call the centre 01245 835000 or log onto


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