THUNDERSTORMS and heavy showers are expected to hit the North West this week, with forecasters warning of travel disruption and possible flooding. 

The Met Office has issued weather warnings for the region, advising that thunderstorms are likely to strike on Thursday afternoon and evening.

The poor weather conditions could cause travel disruption and flooding in places between 12noon and 9pm.

In the latest weather update, The Met Office warns that, where heavy showers and thunderstorms develop, they will potentially bring between 20 and 30mm of rain in an hour, and between 40 and 50mm in the space of two to three hours.

However, most areas are expected to miss the heaviest rain.

The Met Office advised that there is a "small chance" that homes and businesses could be flooded quickly, causing damage to some premises from floodwater and lightning strikes.

Drivers may face difficult driving conditions and sudden road closures due to spray and sudden flooding.

Those travelling on public transport have also been informed that there could be delays and some cancellations of train and bus services.

The warning also urged residents to avoid fast flowing or deep floodwater as it poses a danger to life.

The showers and thunderstorms are expected to gradually die out during Thursday night.