Lightning lit up the night sky across large parts of Britain in a weather phenomenon dubbed the ‘mother of all thunderstorms’ by meteorologists.
Mother of all thunderstorms’ hits Britain as lightning strikes ‘15,000 to 20,000 times
It is estimated that the UK was hit by lightning between 15,000 and 20,000 times – including one bolt hitting the Shard in London, in a dramatic moment captured by photographers.
Bank Holiday sunshine proved too much for some on Scotland's beaches Heavy rain also lashed southern England and the Midlands as the incredible wave of lightning rolled in.
Met Office meteorologist Charlie Powell said: ‘Temperatures overnight did not fall much below 15 or 16 degrees, for the end of May that’s a pretty hot and humid night so everything was primed.
‘We had some storms coming in from northern France and some building up in the Channel and they sort of spread out and have been working their way in.
The London Fire Brigade said it had taken more than 500 weather-related calls overnight, although the majority were down to flooding and no fires were reported to have been started by lighting strikes.
Some 17 flood alerts were issued for parts of the Thames Valley, while West Midlands and Bedfordshire fire services warned motorists of the risks of driving on flood-hit roads.
Nearly 1,000 properties in the Midlands have been left without power as a result of the lightning, Western Power Distribution said.
Five properties were struck by lightning in Warwickshire, while a telephone box burst into flames after a BT pole was hit in Dawlish, Devon. The weather has also caused chaos at Stansted Airport with passengers reporting huge delays.
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