Thunder, hail and lightning: Heavy storms mark climax of longest heatwave for nearly 40 years

Threat of flash flooding as localised, torrential downpours hit sun-baked ground

A fortnight's rain fell overnight in parts of Britain, bringing a stormy end to the country's longest heatwave in seven years.

The thunder, lightning and hail that broke the sunny spells on Monday night will last intermittently throughout Tuesday and Wednesday, coupled with torrential rain and the risk of flash floods, weather experts warned.

Pershore in Worcestershire recorded the highest rainfall last night with more than an inch (25.8mm) falling - half the area's 50mm average total for the whole of July, the Met Office said.

Rochdale saw 18.6mm (0.7 inches) in the 12 hours to 7am while Monks Wood in Cambridgeshire recorded 15mm (0.6 inches).

The sunnier climate that provided the nation with weeks of scorching temperatures, peaked yesterday at 33.5C in London - the hottest day since 20 July, 2006.

The storms will thunder on over the Midlands as well as across eastern, central, northern and southern parts of England, with the East Midlands, London and Kent experiencing the worst of the weather.

Temperatures will dip to the high 20s and remain humid, but the west of England, Wales and Northern Ireland will be far cooler before the rest of the country gradually follows suit.

Briton's can even expect more of the large hailstones witnessed in south London as a result of the humidity.

Brendan Jones, a forecaster at MeteoGroup said: “In the last few weeks an area of high pressure has hung over the UK creating settled, very hot conditions.

“But now air is pushing in from the Atlantic and meeting this humid air, and the combination is causing these strong and violent storms that will last on and off throughout the day and linger into Wednesday.

“The main threat is of flash flooding from localised but torrential rain, especially as the ground is so dry and solid it will not soak up the water very easily.

“Another threat is from the frequency of the lightning bolts, which could come down to the ground and cause damage.

“It will remain quite hot and humid in some areas today, but generally everywhere will now start to cool off.”

The Met Office has now issued a low-level alert warning of storms and torrential downpours across England, Wales and Scotland.

It advised: “The public should be aware of the risk of localised disruption to travel, and more generally to summer holiday activities, due to, for example, surface water flooding.”

The overall trend for the rest of the week will include cooler temperatures across the UK, with continuing showers and thunderstorms. Temperatures in the next week should settle into the low 20s.

The hot weather has taken its toll on the UK in recent weeks, with grass fires in London, mountain blazes in the Welsh valleys and forest fires in Fife, Scotland.

Wildlife experts are warning of the risk of fires in important landscapes that are in “tinder box” condition after days of hot, dry weather.

Devon Wildlife Trust has teamed up with Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service to urge people to take care to avoid fires in the region, which can devastate habitats that are key to rare species as well pose dangers to people and farmland.

News
peopleHowards' Way actress, and former mistress of Jeffrey Archer, was 60
Sport
Romelu Lukaku puts pen to paper
sport
News
Robyn Lawley
people
Arts and Entertainment
Unhappy days: Resistance spy turned Nobel prize winner Samuel Beckett
books
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
News
people
Life and Style
Troy Baker and Ashley Johnson voice the show’s heroes
gamingOnce stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover
News
i100
Life and Style
Phones will be able to monitor your health, from blood pressure to heart rate, and even book a doctor’s appointment for you
techCould our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?
News
people
Extras
indybest
Travel
Ryan taming: the Celtic Tiger carrier has been trying to improve its image
travelRyanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?
Sport
Usain Bolt confirms he will run in both the heats and the finals of the men's relay at the Commonwealth Games
commonwealth games
Life and Style
Slim pickings: Spanx premium denim collection
fashionBillionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers 'thigh-trimming construction'
News
Sabina Altynbekova has said she wants to be famous for playing volleyball, not her looks
people
News
i100
Life and Style
tech'World's first man-made leaves' could use photosynthesis to help astronauts breathe
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

SAP Project Manager

competitive: Progressive Recruitment: SAP PROJECT MANAGER - 3 MONTHS - BERKSHI...

SAP Project Manager

competitive: Progressive Recruitment: SAP PROJECT MANAGER - 3 MONTHS - BERKSHI...

Senior Investment Accounting Change Manager

£600 - £700 per day + competitive: Orgtel: Senior Investment Accounting Change...

Microsoft Dynamics AX Functional Consultant

£65000 - £75000 per annum + benefits: Progressive Recruitment: A rare opportun...

Day In a Page

Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices
Could our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?

Could smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases?

Health Kit and Google Fit have been described as "the beginning of a health revolution"
Ryanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?

Can we learn to love Ryanair again?

Four recent travellers give their verdicts on the carrier's improved customer service
Billionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers

Spanx launches range of jeans

The jeans come in two styles, multiple cuts and three washes and will go on sale in the UK in October
10 best over-ear headphones

Aural pleasure: 10 best over-ear headphones

Listen to your favourite tracks with this selection, offering everything from lambskin earmuffs to stainless steel
Commonwealth Games 2014: David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end

Commonwealth Games

David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end
UCI Mountain Bike World Cup 2014: Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings

UCI Mountain Bike World Cup

Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings
Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star