HAMPSHIRE is set to be battered by torrential rain and thunderstorms this weekend.

The Met Office has issued a severe weather warning for Saturday, highlighting the risk of lightning, hail and strong gusts of wind.

Heavy, thundery showers could develop early Saturday morning, putting several Hampshire shows and fetes in jeopardy, such as the Curdridge Country Show which was rained off in 2012 after the ground was waterlogged, meaning charities missed out on thousands of pounds the event usually raises.

Other weekend events under threat include the International Family Day Festival in Bitterne Park which supports charities including Children of the World and Southampton Pensioners' Forum.

A Met Office spokesman said the temperature would rise to around 25/26C by Saturday due to warm, humid air coming in from Spain.

He said: “If that comes up against an Atlantic air mass from the west it would force the air to rise rapidly and that can kick off thunderstorms.”

But he added the storms were not certain and that more accurate predictions were not possible until later in the week.

The spokesman said: “We could see a line of quite vigorous thunderstorms develop across the south and there is a possibility that will happen in Southampton but at the moment that warning is just there as a risk of it happening.

“Nothing is definite and it relies on many elements coming together. We need to wait until later this week for a clear picture as to what will transpire.”