Britain fires up coal plant as weather becomes too hot for solar panels to work efficiently

The weekend’s heatwave was followed by storms across Britain, which disrupted both domestic and international travel.

More than 15,000 easyJet passengers have seen their flights cancelled over the past few days as a result of the thunderstorms. The airline axed 54 flights scheduled to take off or depart from Gatwick Airport on Sunday, with a further 55 grounded on Monday.

Meanwhile, Londoners battled through flood water on Monday evening after thunderstorms overwhelmed drainage systems. Motorists in Barnet, North London, were filmed driving through water-filled streets, while London Fire Brigade said it had been called to “several reports” of flooding.

A yellow weather warning was in place for parts of Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales and much of England on Monday. A more severe amber alert was issued for parts of southern England and the Midlands, where the Met Office said homes and businesses were “likely” to be flooded.

Members of the public were advised to keep their phones charged in case of power cuts. Grahame Madge, a Met Office meteorologist, said: “By their nature, [thunderstorms] develop quickly and in almost seemingly random areas.

“We are advising that people might want to think about how suddenly they can be subjected to flash flooding or a power cut. Are people prepared? Make sure mobile phones are charged and that sort of thing.”

While the rain brought some welcome relief to plants after weeks without precipitation, woodland conservation charities have raised the alarm about the survival of urban trees during Britain’s increasingly hot, dry summers.

Charities including the Arboricultural Association are asking the public to help water street trees. It is thought that between 30-50pc of newly-planted urban trees die within the first year. Each needs up to 50 litres of water per week.

Coal was producing around 0.7pc of the electricity being used in the UK on Sunday.

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