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Weather warning for thunderstorms for parts of Northern Ireland

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Barra Best,BBC News NI weather presenter

Colleen Webb Lightning over Sperrin mountainsColleen Webb

Heavy and thundery showers will bring significant rainfall, lightning, and hail

Thunderstorm warnings have been issued for parts of Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland on Monday.

Heavy and thundery showers are expected to develop during the afternoon, bringing significant rainfall, lightning and hail where they hit.

While many places will avoid the worst of the weather, some parts of the west could see up to 30mm of rain in just one hour, with up to 60mm in a two-to-three hour period.

A Met Office weather warning for counties Fermanagh, Tyrone, and Londonderry is in place from 13:00 BST until 21:00.

The poor weather conditions could lead to travel disruption due to spray and flooding, power cuts and possible damage to property because of floodwater and lightning.

Met Office Met Office weather warningMet Office

The Met Office weather warning is in place for Counties Fermanagh, Tyrone, and Londonderry until this evening

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The downpours are forecast to come during one of the warmest periods of the year so far, which saw temperatures reaching 23C in Northern Ireland on Sunday, and 25C in the Republic.

Those temperatures are well above average for the month of May, in some cases by up to 10C.

Declan Harkin Funnel cloudDeclan Harkin

A funnel cloud was spotted forming near Derry as thunderstorms formed in nearby County Donegal on Monday afternoon

Meanwhile, a funnel cloud – a unusual weather event that can happen when cumulonimbus thunderclouds form during storms – has been spotted forming near Derry.

It came as storm cloud formed in nearby County Donegal on Monday afternoon.

Funnel clouds become tornados when they touch the ground and water spouts when they make contact with a body of water.

They form when the atmosphere is unstable.

In April, a rare sighting of five funnel clouds forming at once was photographed in County Wicklow in the Republic of Ireland.

Tuesday Thunderstorms

A second warning for thunderstorms has been issued for Northern Ireland on Tuesday, primarily for central and western areas.

The Met Office is expecting areas of rain to develop quite early on Tuesday before breaking down into slow-moving showers and thundery downpours from late morning.

These could bring up to 30mm of rain in just an hour or two for some, while the wettest spots could see as much as 60mm of rain in the same period.

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