Exact time UK will be hit by by terrifying red rain as storms batter country

Weather forecasters have revealed the exact moment that bizarre 'blood rain' will wash over the UK.

A sweeping storm in the Sahara Desert could result in some surprising red rain making landfall across the country as sand is blown thousands of miles to the north.

The unusual weather phenomenon occurs when dust is combined with water droplets as they form in the atmosphere, meteorologists say.

Richard Miles of the Met Office said this would most likely fall in the early hours of this morning (May 19).

The forecaster said: “There are some dust concentrations in the atmosphere above the UK at present which might well be washed out in the rain tonight, but it’s likely to be relatively small amounts on the whole.

“There’s a warning out for thunderstorms for the south-eastern third of England tonight and a squally cold front will bring wind and sometimes heavy rain to Northern Ireland and north west Scotland this evening (May 18).

“Away from these features it will be mostly fine and dry today (May 18) and tomorrow (May 19), temperatures up to 23-24C in London and the South East, high teens or low 20s elsewhere.”

Heavy rain will continue to fall on Thursday in parts of Scotland and Northern Ireland, while showers will also hit areas in Wales and central and southwest England.

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It comes after a night of chaotic thunderstorms in the south of England saw flights diverted from London Gatwick, with the airport's website showing that a British Airways and Vueling flight from Arrecife, Lanzarote, Spain had to change course.

An easyJet flight from Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, scheduled to arrive just after midnight was also diverted.

One flood alert has also been given by the Environment Agency in England.

This applies to the stretch of the Thames riverside in London from Putney Bridge to Teddington Weir, with flooding of low-lying roads and footpaths expected.

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