UK weather: Thunder and lightning move in to southern England after sweltering 86F day

Britain’s heatwave was well and truly over today as hot beaches turned to drizzled streets overnight.

The Met Office has issued weather warnings for almost all of England over the next four days with thunderstorms and flooding expected in some parts.

Rain began to fall on Wednesday, which fell short of becoming the hottest day of the year so far when a high of 29.2C (84.56F) was recorded at Heathrow, short of the 29.7C (85.46F) peak felt in Teddington, Middlesex, on Monday.

The Met Office’s yellow warnings mean people could see flooding to homes and businesses, communities becoming ‘cut off’, power cuts and delays to public transport following heavy rainfall.

Strong winds and hail could also pose problems while the Met Office said lightning strikes could cause delays to train and bus services.

Road closures could also follow while motorists have been warned to expect poor driving conditions.

The thunderstorms are the result of a small, low-pressure system moving in from Europe, with warmer surface-level air meeting colder upper air.

Storms began to build across the English Channel on Wednesday afternoon and reached the southern coast of England at around 7pm.

A lightning strike hit Arlington Reservoir in Berwick, East Sussex, at 8pm on Wednesday – marking the first of a number of thunder storms expected over the next three days.

It caused havoc for people trying to get a good night’s sleep as the loud weather made it impossible.

Many went on social media platforms to vent their frustration at the disruptive noises and flashes. 

Taylor said on Twitter: ‘Can the thunder and lightning calm down please I want to go to sleep.’

Artjona chimed in ‘It’s raining, why is it still too hot to sleep?’ 

Lauren added: ‘I was gonna try to go to sleep but just saw lightning.’

Another opined: ‘Still too warm to get a good night’s sleep though.’ 

Lightning seen in Minster on Sea, Kent, as the bright and cheerful weather conditions of the past week succumbed to rain

Lightning seen in Minster on Sea, Kent, as the bright and cheerful weather conditions of the past week succumbed to rain

Lightning seen in Minster on Sea, Kent, as the bright and cheerful weather conditions of the past week succumbed to rain

This picture posted to social media showed the forks of lightning illuminating the sky as the sunny conditions ended abruptly

This picture posted to social media showed the forks of lightning illuminating the sky as the sunny conditions ended abruptly

This picture posted to social media showed the forks of lightning illuminating the sky as the sunny conditions ended abruptly

After a night of near constant rain, the conditions showed no sign of letting up as the wet weather continued into Thursday

After a night of near constant rain, the conditions showed no sign of letting up as the wet weather continued into Thursday

After a night of near constant rain, the conditions showed no sign of letting up as the wet weather continued into Thursday

Disheartened Londoners after awaking to discover the glorious weather of the past few days were now a distant memory

Disheartened Londoners after awaking to discover the glorious weather of the past few days were now a distant memory

Disheartened Londoners after awaking to discover the glorious weather of the past few days were now a distant memory

Footage has emerged showing heavy rainfall in Kent

Footage has emerged showing heavy rainfall in Kent

An intense storm hit the southern coast of England

An intense storm hit the southern coast of England

Footage has emerged showing heavy rainfall in Kent as an intense storm hit the southern coast of England

A social media user called Taylor said that she had been unable to sleep due to the terrifying new weather conditions

A social media user called Taylor said that she had been unable to sleep due to the terrifying new weather conditions

A social media user called Taylor said that she had been unable to sleep due to the terrifying new weather conditions

Many were stunned as to why the weather conditions were thunder and lightning but the temperature was still so high

Many were stunned as to why the weather conditions were thunder and lightning but the temperature was still so high

Many were stunned as to why the weather conditions were thunder and lightning but the temperature was still so high

One social media spoke for the nation when they bemoaned 'It's raining, so why is it still too hot to sleep'

One social media spoke for the nation when they bemoaned 'It's raining, so why is it still too hot to sleep'

One social media spoke for the nation when they bemoaned ‘It’s raining, so why is it still too hot to sleep’

One poor football fan called Lauren said the weather was so frightening she would be unable to catch any sleep overnight

One poor football fan called Lauren said the weather was so frightening she would be unable to catch any sleep overnight

One poor football fan called Lauren said the weather was so frightening she would be unable to catch any sleep overnight








Earlier in the week some areas were hotter than top European holiday destinations including Ibiza, St Tropez and Mykonos – during the 21st day in a row that maximum UK temperatures have got to at least 70F (21C).  

The hottest temperature recorded yesterday was 82F (29C) at London City Airport, while 82F (28C) was observed at London Heathrow Airport, Norwich and Southend-on-Sea in Essex.

But then the Met Office issued yellow warnings of ‘intense’ thunderstorms lasting 63 hours until Saturday morning, stretching across large parts of England, including London and the South East.

And an allergy expert warned people with hayfever, who have suffered from sneezing and streaming eyes amid very a high pollen count in recent days, face fresh misery with the storms threatening so-called ‘thunder fever’.

The Met Office’s yellow warnings mean people could see flooding to homes and businesses, communities becoming ‘cut off’, power cuts and delays to public transport following heavy rainfall.

Strong winds and hail could also pose problems while the Met Office said lightning strikes could cause delays to train and bus services.

Road closures could also follow while motorists have been warned to expect poor driving conditions.

The thunderstorms are the result of a small, low-pressure system moving in from Europe, with warmer surface-level air meeting colder upper air.

Storms began to build across the English Channel on Wednesday afternoon and reached the southern coast of England last night.

Forecaster Simon Partridge said: ‘The rain will be pretty heavy with up to 30mm falling in quite a short timeframe.

‘It will be a horrible night for many, especially when you’re trying to get some sleep, remaining quite hot and humid in London and the South East, at around 17-18C, combined with the damp weather.’

It brings to an end days of sunshine in which the public has revelled, with thousands flocking to parks and beaches to soak up the rays.

Thunderstorms are expected to continue until the weekend. 

Sunglasses and shorts were abandoned this morning in favour of waterproofs and umbrellas as the reality of the weather hit

Sunglasses and shorts were abandoned this morning in favour of waterproofs and umbrellas as the reality of the weather hit

Sunglasses and shorts were abandoned this morning in favour of waterproofs and umbrellas as the reality of the weather hit

Some Londoners still dressed for the heat this morning, despite the rain lashing down on the streets and the roads

Some Londoners still dressed for the heat this morning, despite the rain lashing down on the streets and the roads

Some Londoners still dressed for the heat this morning, despite the rain lashing down on the streets and the roads

A wet and damp start to the day greeted people in London looking out across the Thames in contrast to the past week

A wet and damp start to the day greeted people in London looking out across the Thames in contrast to the past week

A wet and damp start to the day greeted people in London looking out across the Thames in contrast to the past week

Dominika Jasinska sunbathes by the River Thames at the Riverside Centre near Donnington Bridge, Oxford. yesterday

Dominika Jasinska sunbathes by the River Thames at the Riverside Centre near Donnington Bridge, Oxford. yesterday

Dominika Jasinska sunbathes by the River Thames at the Riverside Centre near Donnington Bridge, Oxford. yesterday

Two young women relax in the fountains at Battersea Park in South West London as temperatures soared yesterday

Two young women relax in the fountains at Battersea Park in South West London as temperatures soared yesterday

Two young women relax in the fountains at Battersea Park in South West London as temperatures soared yesterday

Crowds of people enjoying the sunshine on Brighton beach in East Sussex yesterday afternoon as temperatures soared

Crowds of people enjoying the sunshine on Brighton beach in East Sussex yesterday afternoon as temperatures soared

Crowds of people enjoying the sunshine on Brighton beach in East Sussex yesterday afternoon as temperatures soared

Dominika Jasinska dips her toes in the River Thames by the Riverside Centre near Donnington Bridge in Oxford yesterday

Dominika Jasinska dips her toes in the River Thames by the Riverside Centre near Donnington Bridge in Oxford yesterday

Dominika Jasinska dips her toes in the River Thames by the Riverside Centre near Donnington Bridge in Oxford yesterday








Swimmers cooled off from the heat at Jesus Green Lido in Cambridge on Wednesday afternoon in the glorious sunshine

Swimmers cooled off from the heat at Jesus Green Lido in Cambridge on Wednesday afternoon in the glorious sunshine

Swimmers cooled off from the heat at Jesus Green Lido in Cambridge on Wednesday afternoon in the glorious sunshine

Swimmers are pictured at Jesus Green Lido in Cambridge on the hottest day of the year so far Wednesday

Swimmers are pictured at Jesus Green Lido in Cambridge on the hottest day of the year so far Wednesday

Swimmers are pictured at Jesus Green Lido in Cambridge on the hottest day of the year so far Wednesday

Thousands descended on Brighton beach yesterday afternoon to enjoy the last of the sweltering temperatures

Thousands descended on Brighton beach yesterday afternoon to enjoy the last of the sweltering temperatures

Thousands descended on Brighton beach yesterday afternoon to enjoy the last of the sweltering temperatures 

Kayakers in the sunshine on the canal in Birmingham Wednesday afternoon as they make the most of the hot weather

Kayakers in the sunshine on the canal in Birmingham Wednesday afternoon as they make the most of the hot weather

Kayakers in the sunshine on the canal in Birmingham Wednesday afternoon as they make the most of the hot weather








England’s much-anticipated Euro 2020 clash with Scotland at Wembley Stadium on tomorrow evening could be hit with bands of ‘heavy thundery showers’, forecasters say.

However, most of Scotland, Northern Ireland and northern parts of Wales are expected to escape the wet weather, with these areas avoiding the yellow weather warnings.  

Temperatures above 70F (21C) for 21st day in a row

Maximum temperatures in Britain got to at least 70F (21C) for the 21st day in a row today. Here are the UK highs for the past three weeks, including the hottest day of 2021 so far which was recorded on Monday: 

  • June 15: 79.9F (26.6C) – Heathrow Airport, London
  • ** June 14: 85.5F (29.7C) – Teddington, London **
  • June 13: 82.4F (28C) – Heathrow Airport, London
  • June 12: 76.6F (24.8C) – Kew Gardens, London
  • June 11: 78.1F (25.6C) – Heathrow Airport, London
  • June 10: 76.5F (24.7C) – Heathrow Airport, London
  • June 9: 79.5F (26.4C) – Hull, East Yorkshire
  • June 8: 76.6F (24.8C) – St James’s Park, London
  • June 7: 76.3F (24.6C) – Coningsby, Lincolnshire
  • June 6: 74.1F (23.4C) – St James’s Park, London
  • June 5: 75.2F (24C) – St James’s Park, London
  • June 4: 70.2F (21.2C) – Fyvie Castle, Aberdeenshire
  • June 3: 76.5F (24.7C) – Santon Downham, Suffolk
  • June 2: 82.9F (28.3C) – Northolt, London
  • June 1 : 79F (26.1C) – Cardiff
  • May 31 : 77.2F (25.1C) – Kinlochewe, Highlands
  • May 30 : 75.2F (24C) – Achnagart, Highlands
  • May 29 : 73.2F (22.9C) – Chivenor, Devon
  • May 28 : 71.8F (22.1C) – Achnagart, Highlands
  • May 27 : 71.6F (22C) – Wisley, Surrey

The last day the maximum was below 70F (21C) was May 26 when Killowen in County Down got to 65.5F (18.6C).

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Wales hit 68F (20C) last night, when football fans watched their nation beat Turkey in Euro 2020 in a 5pm kick-off at Baku’s Olympic Stadium in zerbaijan.

Areas in central and southern England reached the low 80Fs (high 20Cs), while Northern Ireland and Scotland, which are seeing cloud and scattered showers, hit the mid-60Fs (high teens Celcius). 

Another set of thunderstorms will then move in from Friday morning, with ‘intense’ showers leading to as much as 2.4in (60mm) of rain falling over 12 hours in the worst affected areas. 

It comes as an allergy expert warned hayfever sufferers, who have faced a very high pollen count in recent days, face ‘thunder fever’ when the storms sweep in. 

Thunder and lightning can split tiny pollen grains into super-irritant micro-particles – with a risk posed to hayfever sufferers by counts leaping to ‘very high’ across England on Saturday after remaining mostly ‘high’ for the next two days.

Airborne allergens expert Max Wiseberg said: ‘After periods of hot weather, thunderstorms can break up pollen grains making them more potent causing a type of hay fever known as ‘thunder fever’.

‘This occurs because there is double the amount of irritant in the air made up of particles which are much smaller having been split apart.

‘Thundery weather over the next few days following such high temperatures is likely to bring perfect conditions for this to happen.’

A recent explosion of grass and weed pollen, after lifting into the atmosphere on warm currents, will be washed to nose-level by torrential rain.

Mr Wiseberg, creator of HayMax allergen balms, added: ‘This is a phenomenon known as ‘upside-down hay fever’ and is caused by alternating weather conditions.

‘Although you would expect hay fever to calm down when the sunshine disappears and is replaced by rain, for some the reverse happens. 

‘Sufferers of this condition typically experience their symptoms starting at the wrong time.

‘When the sun comes out and there is lots of pollen, their hay fever can ease, but on rainy days it gets worse and they end up sneezing more than usual.

‘This is because as warm air rises it carries pollen high into the atmosphere, and when the rain comes, wallop, it brings it back down again where it can trigger hay fever.’

Thunderstorm warning for tonight

Thunderstorm warning for tonight

Thunderstorm warning for tomorrow

Thunderstorm warning for tomorrow

The Met Office has issued yellow warnings of thunderstorms lasting 63 hours from 6pm last night until Saturday morning








Racegoers made the most of the warm and sunny conditions on day two of Royal Ascot at Ascot Racecourse

Racegoers made the most of the warm and sunny conditions on day two of Royal Ascot at Ascot Racecourse

Racegoers made the most of the warm and sunny conditions on day two of Royal Ascot at Ascot Racecourse

Women sit on the grass in their Royal Ascot outfits as they sipped beverages on the hottest day of the year so far

Women sit on the grass in their Royal Ascot outfits as they sipped beverages on the hottest day of the year so far

Women sit on the grass in their Royal Ascot outfits as they sipped beverages on the hottest day of the year so far 

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