UK forecaster issues 1st ever thunderstorm alert

People relax in the sun during lunchtime as they sit in Potters Fields Park, backdropped by Tower Bridge, London, Thursday, June 28, 2018. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
On what has been the hottest week in Britain so far this year, people relax in the sun during lunchtime as they sit on the steps of The Scoop, a riverside amphitheatre, backdropped by the Tower of London, in London, Thursday, June 28, 2018. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
Two people take a selfie as they stand on Waterloo Bridge, backdropped by the City of London financial district, as people enjoy the continuing spell of hot weather, Saturday June 30, 2018. Sunny weather and a clear blue sky continue across Britain. (Dominic Lipinski/PA via AP)
People relax in the sun during lunchtime as they sit in Potters Fields Park, backdropped by the Tower Bridge, in London, Thursday, June 28, 2018. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
People watch "The Never Ending Story" movie on an outdoor cinema screen at Canalside Steps, Granary Square, London, Thursday, June 28, 2018, during hot weather. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

LONDON — Britain's Met Office weather forecasting service has issued its first thunderstorm alert in the agency's 164-year history.

The official forecasters say torrential rain, hail and lightning are possible Sunday in parts of southwest England and Wales as a long, dry heatwave persists in much of Britain.

The forecasting service introduced the thunderstorm alert system last month along with a system to warn residents about expected lightning strikes.

The Met Office is also warning of potential hazardous driving conditions in regions hit by the predicted storms.

High temperatures and sunny conditions have brought tens of thousands of people to Britain's coastal towns and cities.

London's many riverside pubs have also been filled with revelers, some buoyed by England's strong World Cup performance so far.

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