Car windows were smashed and property damaged as hail the size of golf balls pounded a Leicestershire village on Tuesday night.
The national heatwave was abruptly interrupted in Kibworth Beauchamp as thunder, rain and snow lashed down.
Some 45mm of rain fell in just half an hour with cellars flooded and suburban roads transformed into torrential rivers.
"One minute the kids were playing with their friends in the paddling pool and it was gloriously hot," one resident, Katie Jaffar, said. "The next minute huge dollops of rain started falling and then it turned into hail - huge lumps of it thundering down."
The force of the downpour smashed through a skylight at her mother’s home, she added; while her two family cars had been left write offs. “It was just so scary how quickly it happened and the damage it caused,” the journalist added.
Another resident, Matt Sibson, reported his vehicle as having 45 separate dents following the 30 minute lashing from about 6.15pm. “Every car in the village is damaged,” the historical writer noted on Twitter. “Every single one.”
Yet the extreme storms brought only brief respite from this week’s severe heat – which is now set to continue for the rest of the week.
Temperatures could climb as high as 33C in parts of the country before Friday, forecasters say.
Amber warnings for extreme heat have been issued by the Met Office for parts of Wales, all of south-west England and significant chunks of southern and central England over the next few days.
Meteorologist Marco Petagna said: "Temperatures are likely to peak at around 32C, even reaching 33C in isolated spots across southern England, so very warm for many.
"Even the more cooler areas will see temperatures in the twenties while other places could see some thundery showers."
Join our new commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies