Thunderstorms and heavy showers are expected to hit the region this afternoon.

Forecasters have warned of disruption to travel and power supplies across the North West today (Wednesday, April 24).

A spokesman said: "Although not everywhere will get one, heavy showers and thunderstorms are expected to break out across central and northern England during Wednesday afternoon, easing from the south during the evening.

"These thunderstorms bring the potential for lightning strikes and hail, with sudden downpours and gusty winds."

A heavy downpour hit the town during rush hour, causing standing water to build up quickly on roads and creating treacherous conditions for drivers.

Delays have been reported around the town, mainly on St Peter's Way and Crompton Way, by Transport for Greater Manchester - who have cautioned drivers to allow extra time for journeys.

The rain also resulted in flash flooding at Bolton Market Place as water streamed into the building and pooled in walkways, shops and atriums.

Residents are being told to expect possible damage to a few buildings and structures from lightning strikes, as well as some short term loss of power and possible delays to train services.

Driving conditions are also expected to be affected by spray, standing water or hail which could lead to longer journey times.

Flooding of a few homes and businesses is also possible, the Met Office warned.