Incredible pics show 'supercell' cloud and lightning strikes as Britain is rocked by thunderstorms

TORRENTIAL rain and a spectacular electrical storm lashed parts of the UK overnight as unsettled weather continued to cause disruption across the country.

Homes were left without power and roads were flooded in parts of the South East, while Lenham in Kent saw 42mm of rain in the space of just one hour.


The Met Office said the deluge in the village, which lies between Maidstone and Ashford, came between 11pm last night and midnight.

Images and video on social media captured spectacular lightning in the skies over the region and the moment a power cut took place, while Kent Police's Roads Policing Unit tweeted that the lightning was "very active".

Eastbourne in East Sussex is said to have seen about 1,000 lightning strikes in an hour.

Sussex Roads Policing team  warned of significant flooding on the A27 and A259 between Lewes and Hastings, adding: "Power cuts also knowing traffic lights out: please take care."

Ben Williams, 31, who filmed the storm in Ticehurst, East Sussex, said: "It was full-on, pretty much constant flashes of lightning and thunder at its peak. I've not seen a storm like last nights in the UK before."

Susan Pilcher said: "It was possibly the most amazing storm I have ever watched. I had seen lightning in the back garden and decided I had to go to Dungeness to watch it as it is so open there.

"I stayed from about 11pm to 1.30am with sheet lightning and fork lightning chasing across the sky and heavy, heavy rain at times. Very exciting."

Wendy Howard, from Canterbury, said: "My husband and I were standing at my front porch listening as the rumbles got louder and the flashes got more frequent.

"I don't know anyone affected by flooding, everything is great."

In Suffolk Carl Humphrey, 30, captured a supercell thunderstorm cloud hovering over the coastal village of Orford.

Supercells are the least common kind of thunderstorm.

They occur when rising swells of warm air push through an overlying stable layer of cool, dry air. Their destructive might is second only to hurricanes.

He said: "I thought it looked like a mother spaceship or even Armageddon.

"When I saw it, I just thought 'wow'. It was a major surprise because they don't usually happen in the UK like that.

"I got a little bit wet but it was worth getting soaked."



A yellow weather warning is in place for thunderstorms across much of the south-east of England, including East Anglia, until 9pm tonight.

Forecasters say further rain, hail and lightning could bring potential disruption to travel.

Brits have been warned about potential power cuts in homes and businesses.

"We've had some heavy, thundery showers overnight," said meteorologist Alex Burkill.

"There has been some flooding near Eastbourne and some power cuts.

"We are going to see some further heavy showers heading towards Kent, and south-east parts of the UK will see some heavy thunderstorms through the morning, while isolated ones could develop this afternoon."



The flood-hit community of Wainfleet in Lincolnshire is within the Met Office's warning area, but forecasters are optimistic the town will escape the worst of the storms on Wednesday.

"A few showers are possible there, but it doesn't look like it's going to bear the brunt of the heavy downpours," Mr Burkill added.

The town has already seen around 225 Olympic-sized swimming pools' worth of water pumped out to sea following severe flooding last week.

Around 350 tonnes of sand and ballast were dropped in the area by RAF Chinook helicopters over the weekend.

On Tuesday, Lincolnshire Police said almost 600 homes remained evacuated as the clean-up operation continued.

Other parts of the country will see a much brighter day on Wednesday, with sunshine expected in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

The rest of England and Wales could see a damp start, before things brighten up later in the day.

The weekend is also set to bring some respite from the recent downpours, with temperatures rising as high as 23C (73F).

June 1-13's average UK maximum temperature was a chilly 15.5C.

The last time the average UK maximum temperature was colder over the whole of June was 1991's 14.8C, Met Office records show.

Met Office forecaster Steven Keates said earlier this week: “The coming days will feel like summer again and be completely different to the past week.

“Very hot air from the Mediterranean will bring humidity from Monday, with 23C, then 27C not out of the question on Tuesday and 25C on Wednesday.

“But thunderstorms push across the UK from late Tuesday and through Wednesday. Weather warnings would not be a surprise.

“The Atlantic looks like dominating the second half of the week, with cooler conditions and wetter especially in the North-West."

Glastonbury Festival, which starts next week, risks being a quagmire after 77mm of rain soaked Somerset this month.




Arial of flood hit homes after water levels have dropped in Lincolnshire

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