The Environment Agenct is warning thunderstorms producing torrential rain will move north across parts of England through Friday night and throughout Saturday, with further thundery showers likely to affect parts of the east of England on Sunday.

While some places in the North West may see relatively little rain, there is a chance of seeing downpours giving up to 30mm in an hour and totals of 50-75mm of rain locally in around three hours.

There is a risk of localised surface water flooding as drainage systems may not be able cope with the intense rainfall as well as the possibility of some river flooding.

John Curtin, director of incident management at the Environment Agency, said: “Intense heavy rainfall this weekend brings a surface water flood risk for England throughout the weekend.

"Flooding can happen very quickly and the public are urged to keep checking local weather forecasts and the Environment Agency website for information on a regular basis.

“We will continue to monitor the situation closely and support local authorities, who will respond to any reports of surface water flooding. We will also continue to monitor river levels closely and issue warnings where flooding is likely.”

Surface water flooding can happen very quickly depending on where thunderstorms occur, the amount and intensity of the rainfall and the local drainage network. It is possible that roads may quickly become impassable and people are urged not to drive through flood water.

There is also the possibility of flash flooding from rivers in urban areas and smaller rivers. Environment Agency teams are out working to minimise river flood risk, clearing debris from streams and unblocking culverts.

Readers can sign up to receive free flood warnings for rivers, check their flood risk and keep up to date with the latest situation, including a three-day flood risk forecast on the GOV.UK website here or via #floodaware on Twitter and Facebook.