WEATHER experts have warned people to prepare for periods of torrential rain this weekend after upgrading a severe weather warning.

The Met Office has today increased its alert to amber with heavy rainfall expects across much of the region.

It comes as the organisation issued a yellow alert warning the south of the UK to brace itself for a heatwave today.

It predicts significant flooding, thunderstorms, torrential downpours, frequent lightening, large hail and locally strong gusts of wind tomorrow.

A forecaster said: “Several areas of heavy, thundery showers will develop over England and Wales from Friday night before moving northwards during Saturday.

“Not everywhere within the warning area will see thunderstorms, and indeed some spells of warm sunshine are expected at times, but where thunderstorms do form, some torrential downpours are likely with frequent lightning, large hail and locally strong gusts.

“Significant flooding is possible where these do occur from surface water as well as from small, fast-responding watercourses.

“The public should be prepared for the risk of disruption from any of these elements.”