Drivers are rescued from cars, roads submerged and shopping centres evacuated ...

A shopping centre was evacuated and drivers had to be rescued from their cars as parts of Essex were hit by severe flooding after a fortnight's worth of rain fell in just one hour.

Chelmsford city centre has been completely flooded forcing staff to evacuate the Meadows Shopping Centre sparking a fire alarm to go off after the city was hit with thunderstorms at about 5pm today. 

Residents of Chelmsford described scenes of 'carnage' and said 'half the city seems to be underwater' according to Essex Live.

 Meanwhile in Bishop's Stortford, rescue crews had to help a driver stuck in flood waters using an emergency rubber dinghy.

A woman is rescued from flooding in Bishop's Stortford. Multiple roads in Bishop's Stortford are suffering from flooding again today.Heavy rain has drenched Hertfordshire again this morning which has caused many roads to flood.

A woman is rescued from flooding in Bishop's Stortford. Multiple roads in Bishop's Stortford are suffering from flooding again today.Heavy rain has drenched Hertfordshire again this morning which has caused many roads to flood.

Heavy rain caused roads to flood in Chelmsford, Essex this afternoon

Heavy rain caused roads to flood in Chelmsford, Essex this afternoon

Heavy rain caused roads to flood in Chelmsford, Essex this afternoon.

Heavy rain caused roads to flood in Chelmsford, Essex this afternoon.

A driver was left stranded in Stansted Road in Bishop's Stortford as the road has flooded due to heavy rain

A driver was left stranded in Stansted Road in Bishop's Stortford as the road has flooded due to heavy rain

Flood water took over this football pitch as the goals show just how much rain has fallen today across Hertfordshire and Essex

Flood water took over this football pitch as the goals show just how much rain has fallen today across Hertfordshire and Essex

 Hertfordshire fire service confirmed they attended an incident, adding: 'We are currently at an incident in Stanstead Road/ Parsonage Lane area of Bishop Stortford. Please avoid the area as there is heavy flood water.'

Heavy rain with the risk of thunderstorms is expected to continue over the rest of the weekend, with warnings of potential flooding and travel disruption.

The Met Office issued a yellow warning for thunderstorms across large swathes of England and Wales stretching across the weekend and into most of Monday.

The warning says that spray and sudden flooding caused by the rain may lead to difficult driving conditions or road closures.

The south of England and Wales are likely to be the wettest areas over the whole weekend, with other parts of the country seeing dry and warmer weather.

The Met Office said 24.1mm of rain fell in an hour in Canterbury, Kent, on Saturday, which could lead to some surface flooding.

Becky Mitchell, a meteorologist for the Met Office, said the weekend was a 'messy picture'.

She added: 'The main thing over the next three days is the risk of thunderstorms in the south.

'Saturday night is going to be pretty mild and then Sunday across the south it's a picture of sunshine and showers - those showers could be thundery at times.

'That risk is really within the warning zone - central and southern England and Wales could see some heavy downpours tomorrow.

'Further north it's going to be a bit drier with cloudy skies across the east coast.' 

People worked out on the dried-out grass in Wimbledon Common as Saturday morning brought wet, overcast weather

People worked out on the dried-out grass in Wimbledon Common as Saturday morning brought wet, overcast weather

Thunderstorms and torrential downpours are set to sweep across the UK in a three-day deluge. Pictured: People working out on the dried-out grass in Wimbledon Common

Thunderstorms and torrential downpours are set to sweep across the UK in a three-day deluge. Pictured: People working out on the dried-out grass in Wimbledon Common

The Met Office has issued a yellow thunderstorm warning for vast swathes of England and Wales on both Saturday and Sunday - just as thousands of holidaymakers rushed back from France after the country was added to the UK's quarantine list

The Met Office has issued a yellow thunderstorm warning for vast swathes of England and Wales on both Saturday and Sunday - just as thousands of holidaymakers rushed back from France after the country was added to the UK's quarantine list

Bad weather including heavy rain and low cloud caused the cancellation of three commemorative flypasts by the Red Arrows.

The RAF display team had planned to fly over London, Cardiff, Edinburgh and Belfast to commemorate 75 years since VJ Day.

However, only the Belfast flypast took place as the other events were cancelled due to the bad weather.

In addition to the rain, forecasters expect the rest of the weekend to be much cooler after a week of hot and humid weather.

The Lake District town of Keswick in Cumbria saw the mercury rise to 24.8C on Saturday.

However, this was milder than much of the week, where temperatures above 34C (93.2F) were recorded for six days in a row. 

The south of England and Wales are likely to be the wettest areas, with frequent lightning, gusty winds and heavy downpours with 30 to 40mm of rain possible in less than an hour, according to the Met Office.

Five flood alert warnings have been issued across the West Midlands by the Environment Agency. 

Met Office chief meteorologist Frank Saunders said: 'Up until Monday, thunderstorm warnings cover much of England and Wales, with parts of southern England and South Wales seeing the greatest likelihood of impacts.

'The storms will not affect all areas, but where they happen there will be frequent lightning, gusty winds and intense, heavy downpours with 30 to 40 millimetres of rain possible in less than an hour and, in a few unlucky spots, a small chance of 60 mm falling in a short period.

The poor weather is only set to continue with flooding (pictured) potentially leading to road closures, while extreme weather may damage buildings and cause power cuts and cancellations to train and bus services

The poor weather is only set to continue with flooding (pictured) potentially leading to road closures, while extreme weather may damage

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