Flashy display: Violent thunderstorms thunder across parts of England

A flashy display: Violent thunderstorms signal a dramatic end to the mini-heatwave as Met Office issues yellow weather warning across East of England – with temperatures set to cool to highs of 66.2F this week

  • The Met Office has issued a weather warning across parts of East England as thunderstorms rage across 
  • Lightning is sparking up night skies in London, Brighton, Portsmouth and other affected regions in country 
  • The warning also said heavy rain, gusty winds, hail, flooding and power cuts may be possible as a result 

Bright lightning sparked across dark skies across the South East of England from last night and into the early hours of this morning as raging thunderstorms brought heavy rain, with the Met Office issuing a yellow weather warning and saying power cuts and flooding are possible in affected areas.

Following a mini-heatwave, dramatic yellow and purple bolts struck London, Brighton, Portsmouth and other regions, bringing with them a ‘cold front’ as well as heavy winds and rain or potential hail as the storms now move across Essex and East Anglia.

Lightning tracker maps show some areas of the UK facing lightning strikes as often as every 11-20 minutes.   

A lightning storm over Portsmouth Harbour in Hampshire on Wednesday evening as the Met Office issues a weather warning across parts of England 

A lightning storm over Portsmouth Harbour in Hampshire on Wednesday evening. Bright lightning sparked across dark skies across the South East of England today

Lightning strikes over the city as yellow weather warnings are issued for southern England by the Met Office during the ongoing heatwave week

The Met Office’s warning said: ‘Thunderstorms may bring disruption in some areas, especially to travel.’

It added that those in affected places can expect: ‘Spray and sudden flooding could lead to difficult driving conditions and some road closures.

‘Where flooding or lightning strikes occur, there is a chance of delays and some cancellations to train and bus services, as well as possible power cuts.

The London skyline lit up by bolts of lightning as thunderstorms batter across the South East of England following warnings from the Met Office


Lightning bolts in Brighton. Lightning tracker maps show some areas of the UK facing lightning strikes as often as every 11-20 minutes

Following a heatwave, dramatic yellow and purple bolts struck London, Brighton, Portsmouth and other regions on Wednesday night, bringing with them a ‘cold front’ as well as heavy winds and rain


The Met Office’s warning said: ‘Thunderstorms may bring disruption in some areas, especially to travel’

A lightning storm over the Isle of Wight, looking over Compton Bay on Wednesday evening. Meteorologists also earlier today warned of ‘blood rain’, thought to occur when red coloured dust or particles mix in with the water

‘There is a small chance that homes and businesses could be flooded, with damage due to floodwater or lightning strikes.’

Meteorologists also earlier on Wednesday warned of ‘blood rain’, thought to occur when red coloured dust or particles  mix in with the water.

Richard Miles, of the Met Office, told Sky News: ‘There are some dust concentrations in the atmosphere above the UK at present which might well be washed out in the rain tonight, but it’s likely to be relatively small amounts on the whole.

‘There’s a warning out for thunderstorms for the south-eastern third of England tonight, and a squally cold front will bring wind and sometimes heavy rain to Northern Ireland and northwest Scotland this evening.

‘Away from these features it will be mostly fine and dry today and tomorrow, temperatures up to 23-24C in London and the South East, high teens or low 20s elsewhere.’ 

The Met Office earlier tweeted: ‘Heavy rain, frequent lightning, hail and increasingly gusty winds are expected as a line of thunderstorms moves northeast across southern and eastern England into early Thursday.’

It said the hot weather this week is due to an air mass from the south bringing up mild air, with the UK recording its warmest day of the year so far on Tuesday as London Heathrow Airport hit 27.5C (81.5F).

But forecasters warned that temperatures will slowly decline as the week goes on and the air mass moves, bringing in fresher air and conditions closer to the average for this time of year – with 19C (66.2F) highs by Friday.

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