UK weather: 3,000 lightning strikes illuminate skyline before 'hottest day of the year'

Thunderstorms, torrential rain and strong winds are being expected on a day where temperatures 'will top 30C'

The weather in the UK is turning distinctly tropical with the hottest day of the year marred by torrential rain and major disruptions across parts of the transport network following a spectacular lightning storm last night.

An electrical storm in the early hours of this morning damaged power lines used by train provider Greater Anglia and had led to severely affected services to and from London Liverpool Street with a raft of cancelled trains.

Lightning struck more than 3,000 times in two hours, BBC Weather said, iving eager photographers and storm lovers a sight to behold.

Routes to and from London have now improved, while disruption is also being experienced on routes going through Romford.

"An earlier signalling fault in the Romford area caused by lightning strikes was causing disruption to all trains through this area," the firm says on its website.

Commuters are being urged to check the status of their train before travelling.

Thunderstorms, lightning and thunder “pushed into Cornwall at about 7 or 8pm last night then gradually went northwards and eastwards,” Mark Wilson, forecaster at the Met Office told The Independent.

“Much of southern England experienced thunderstorms. There weren’t many places that escaped. London saw some thunderstorms too. It was quite a broad area that saw it.”

Read more: Lightning storms: Why you can blame a 'kink' in the jet stream

“The rainfall wasn’t excessive, just a lot of lightning activity. It was also very muggy.”

The storm band has since lost its intensity while moving northwards, while many parts of the south can expect a drier day than previously thought.

Signalling problems are also affecting First Capital Connect and East Midlands Trains services between St Pancras and Luton.

A severe weather warning has been issued to large swathes of the UK cautioning that “heavy, thundery showers will develop over England and Wales from Friday night before moving northwards into Scotland during Saturday” despite temperatures topping 30C for most of the country.

The Met Office continued: “The location of these is uncertain but where they do form some torrential downpours are possible with frequent lightning, large hail and locally strong gusts. Significant flooding is possible where these do occur from surface water as well as from small, fast responding watercourses.

“The frequent lightning, large hail and strong gusts could also be an additional hazard.”

London and Essex could see temperatures reach as high as 32C, while other parts of the south will enjoy heat in the late 20s.

Average temperatures for this time of year are 21/22C in London, with today’s heat considerably higher than normal.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
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

Recruitment Genius: Client Services Assistant

£18000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Client Services Assistant is ...

Recruitment Genius: Junior / Senior Sales Broker - OTE £100,000

£20000 - £100000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportuni...

Recruitment Genius: Duty Manager

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Duty Manager is required to join one of the ...

Recruitment Genius: Team Leader

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Team Leader is required to join one of the l...

Day In a Page

No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor