UK Weather: Met Office forecasts thunderstorms

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Met Office weather warnings are in place across parts of the UK today, with the scorching heat of last week giving way to torrential rainfall and lightning storms. Temperatures reached above 32C last week, with days of fierce heat baking Britain before temperatures dived on Friday and rain showers began. Already live weather maps have shown lightning striking across the southeast of England, with pictures capturing a clear fork across Bristol last night.

Key updates

  • Met Office yellow weather warning for thunderstorms in force until 11.59pm today
  • Forecasters warn intense rainfall will accompany the thunderstorms
  • More than 17,000 lightning strikes have been detected over the last 24 hours
  • Temperatures much lower than last week, reaching low 20C today
  • Up to 3 inches of rainfall could be seen today
  • Rainfall to continue into next week with heavy downpours forecast

Below are the latest weather updates, all times in BST.

10.24am update: What does a lightning strike sound like?

Following the lightning strike which hit houses in Hampshire, a neighbour described the moment the lightning hit.

Neighbour Barrie Austen, 79, said: “There was this enormous bang, it was obviously the lightning, I think it woke the rest of the street up.

“I saw the flickering and when I looked out I saw the roof of the semi-detached house completely ablaze and it had completely gone.

“The side that supports the roof, that collapsed as well and then the flames spread into next door.”

He said two sisters live at the property and one was checked over by the ambulance crews.

He added: “She seemed shaken but seemed OK, no real physical problems. I think the lightning hit the roof, woke them up and they just got out.”

9.55am update: Lightning damaged homes in Hampshire

On Saturday morning a lightning strike damaged two homes in Hampshire.

Photos showed roofs partially destroyed, with smoke blowing out the top.

A 70-year-old woman was assessed by paramedics after the strike hit the two houses in Mercia Avenue, Andover, Hampshire.

A spokesman said: “Crews from Whitchurch, Amesbury, Ludgershall, Winchester, Overton, Basingstoke and Rushmoor were called to Andover early this morning following a house struck by lightning.

“Two semi-detached houses were severely damaged in the incident.

“A 70-year-old female was assessed by ambulance crews on the scene but was not taken to the hospital.

“One aerial ladder platform and two 45mm jets were used at the incident.”

9.26am update: Clusters of lightning hitting across the south of England

Live lightning maps have shown heavy clusters striking across the south of England in the past 24 hours.

Lightning has been hitting across Glastonbury, Wells, Ilminster and the West Wiltshire Downs.

In total, more than 17,000 lightning strikes have been detected over the last 24 hours – most of these over the North Sea according to NetWeather.

9.14am update: Intense rainfall to hit the UK alongside lightning storms

Heavy rain is forecast to hit across the warning areas today, with up to three inches forecast to fall in some areas.

Live rain radar maps from Netweather and the Met Office show heavy rain across the South East of England, making its way across to London and the Midlands.

8.35am update: Met Office weather warnings in full

Met Office yellow weather warnings for thunderstorms are in place until 11.59pm today.

The warning area covers the East Midlands, East of England, London and South East England, South West England, Wales and the West Midlands.

The Met Office warns: “After early rainfall in the southeast of England, showers and thunderstorms are likely to develop more widely across the warning area during the afternoon.

“The focus of torrential downpours will probably be across the eastern half of the warning area and perhaps also across some southern coastal counties further west.

“Hail and gusty winds may prove additional hazards.”

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