Met Office issues rare lightning warning as heatwave gives way to thunderstorms


Temperatues have fallen by 10 to 15 degress on last week’s record-breaking highs (Pictures: Rex)

The Met Office has issued a rare lightning warning for the south of England as last week’s mini heatwave gives way to a ‘huge cluster’ of thunderstorms.

The UK recorded its hottest day of the year for the third day in a row on Friday as the mercury soared to nearly 33C in Santon Downham in Suffolk.

But temperatures dropped by 10 to 15 degrees on Saturday, prompting forecasters to issue one of only a ‘handful’ of lightning warnings as storms rumble in.

Meteorologist Becky Mitchell said a cold front from the north was responsible for the sudden temperature shift.

She said: ‘It felt like it was just getting into summer but it’s cooler now.

‘Lots of places in the UK have seen a temperature drop of about 10 to 15 degrees in some places, which is massive.

‘We’ve got a huge cluster of thunderstorms in the south west of England, there’s potential we could see some in the South East later on tonight.’


Mandatory Credit: Photo by Amer Ghazzal/REX/Shutterstock (12965112g) Pedestrians are caught in heavy downpours on Westminster Bridge ahead of the platinum jubilee celebrations which start 2-5 June to mark Queen Elizabeth II accession to the throne in 1952 Seasonal Weather, Westminster Bridge, London, UK - 31 May 2022
Pedestrians are caught in heavy downpours on Westminster Bridge (Picture: Rex/Shutterstock)

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Amer Ghazzal/REX/Shutterstock (12941005g) People sheltering with umbrellas on London riverside during rain showers after the hottest day of the year was recorded on Saturday Seasonal Weather, London, UK - 15 May 2022
People sheltering with umbrellas on London riverside (Picture: Rex/Shutterstock)

Picture supplied by Bav Media 07976 880732. Picture dated June 18th shows people under umbrellas as they go for a punt on the River Cam in Cambridge on Saturday morning as the rain and cooler weather arrives after yesterdays heatwave where temperatures reached 33C. Temperatures could fall by up to 15C in parts of the UK today after the country experienced its hottest day of the year for three days in a row, with forecasters saying rain is likely. The Met Office said Saturday is expected to be ???cloudier and much cooler??? across much of England and Wales.
People huddle under umbrellas as they go for a punt on the River Cam in Cambridge on Saturday (Picture: Bav Media)

After days of flocking to beaches and open spaces to soak up the sun, people are now being urged to stay indoors due to the potentially dangerous conditions.

Ms Mitchell went on: ‘If you are doing any outdoor activities move inside if you can – that’s the best advice really.

‘Stay away from any power lines or anything like that which could potentially be struck by the lightning.

‘If you do find yourself in an exposed location stay close to the ground, away from anything that could conduct lightning.’

Although the weather seen on Friday is unlikely for the immediate future, it looks set to improve in time for the Glastonbury Festival next week.

Temperatures could reach around 26C on Thursday, before cooling as the event winds to a close over the weekend.

‘It looks like the start of Glastonbury, particularly Wednesday or Thursday, is likely to be dry hot and sunny,’ Ms Mitchell said.

‘For anyone setting up your tent it’s likely to be quite good weather.

‘Heading into the weekend from Friday onwards it looks like we could see more in the way of showers, probably some sunny spells and showers.’

While the top temperature was 32.7C on Friday, the highest on Saturday was 27C in Herstmonceux, East Sussex, and there were showers in many places, with the Met Office issuing a yellow warning for south west England as the lightning and heavy rain approached.

Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at [email protected].

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