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Lightning storms sweep the south in apocalyptic scenes ahead of 26C heat

TROPICAL lightning storms are lighting up skies across the south tonight as forecasters issue a weather warning ahead of 26C sunshine next week.

Heavy rain is sweeping across parts of the country, with warnings of flash floods in Essexdays before a scorching plume of heat from Africa arrives.

This astonishing image of tonight's storm was captured in Southampton, Hampshire by Amy Bonnie

This astonishing image of tonight’s storm was captured in Southampton, Hampshire by Amy Bonnie信用: @amybonnie_98
One Twitter user said 'eerie, silent lightning' is lighting up skies over Somerset

One Twitter user said ‘eerie, silent lightningis lighting up skies over Somerset信用: @doesitsay
Emma Prowse captured this stunning shot of the storm over Fareham in Hampshire

Emma Prowse captured this stunning shot of the storm over Fareham in Hampshire信用: @_helloemma
One Twitter user recorded lightning hitting the sea off Southbourne in Dorset

One Twitter user recorded lightning hitting the sea off Southbourne in Dorset信用: 推特 / @carrie15152
Sarah Dixon, who lives in Weymouth, Dorset, snapped this astonishing image of lightning so bright it made a dark night appear as if it was daytime

Sarah Dixon, who lives in Weymouth, Dorset, snapped this astonishing image of lightning so bright it made a dark night appear as if it was daytime信用: @sidix67
同时, Kelly Shaw captured this amazing image of an ultra-rare 'moonbow'

同时, Kelly Shaw captured this amazing image of an ultra-rare ‘moonbow信用: @KellyShaw31
A yellow weather warning for thunderstorms is in force across England and Wales

A yellow weather warning for thunderstorms is in force across England and Wales信用: Met Office

一个 yellow alert, which covers the area between 伦敦, Oxford, Cardiff and Plymouth, remains in force until 5am tomorrow.

The Met Office says there could besudden floodingafter weeks without significant rain.

Some areas may also see bizarrely unseasonal May hailstormswhile one lucky weather-watcher spotted an ultra-rare ‘moonbowin Alston, Cumbria.

The phenomenon is caused by tonight’s blood moon illuminating droplets of water before its eclipse in the early hours of this morning.

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Kelly Shaw sent the image to the Met Office. Meteorologists replied: “They’re a rarer occurrence than the standard rainbow due to the conditions required for them to form.

The amount of light available even from the brightest full moon is far less than that produced by the sun so moonbows are incredibly faint and very rarely seen.

Stunning photographs of the tempest have also been shared on social media tonight.

One Twitter user posted footage of the storm crackling through the sky above the coastline in Southbourne, Dorset.

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In nearby Weymouth, a flash momentarily made the pitch-black night appear as if it was daytime.

Emma Prowse captured a fork of lightning about Fareham in Hampshire. 她写了: “Some pretty solid storm action.

The Isle of Wight has been illuminated by purple flashes, while a social media user in the West Country likened the storm to a scene from science fiction.

There’s some War of the Worlds stuff going on in Somerset,” 她说.

Eerie silent lightning.

Forecasters said on Sunday: “Although the locations affected by thunderstorms remains uncertain, a few places may experience a combination of heavy rain, frequent lightning and hail during Sunday night.

ULTRA-RARE ‘MOONBOW

Should thunderstorms develop, they are likely to move north from the south coast during Sunday evening into parts of south Wales, southern England and East Anglia overnight before gradually weakening during Monday morning.

Whilst some places will remain dry, a few places may see 20 to 30mm of rainfall in less than an hour, with frequent lightning and hail additional hazards.

The grim 天气 could cause damage to buildings from lightning strikes.

Met Office has urged those travelling to take extra care overnight and early tomorrow.

Some roads may be forced to close and driving conditions could be challenging. Train and bus services may face delays and cancellations.

‘EERIE SILENT LIGHTNING

The squall will be a shock to the system for most Brits after balmy sunshine on Saturday.

Temperatures hit a summery 23.5C in Northolt, 西伦敦.

That’s just shy of the 23.6C recorded on May 6 in Faversham, 肯特, the hottest day of the year so far.

Met Office meteorologist Simon Partridge said the abrupt change in weather comes courtesy ofa plume of warm and humid air coming off the continent”.

That’s going to allow some heavy showers to develop and the odd rumbling of thunder as well,” 他说.

STUNNING SHOTS

Next week, temperatures are set to soar once again amid a steamy heatwave.

The warmest day of the year so far is expected on Tuesday, when highs of 27C are predicted.

It will make Blighty hotter than holiday hotspots Barcelona and Lisbon, where temperatures will struggle to surpass 23C.

Met Office meteorologist Aidan McGivern said: “During the early part of the week it’s possible to see low to mid 20s fairly widely, and high 20s around the South East if we get sunshine associated with this plume.

“然而, as I mentioned, it does bring the threat of thundery outbreaks at the same time.

His colleague Alex Deakin saidwarm and humid airwill likelyspark some heavy, thundery showers”.

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The Met’s long-range forecast has predicted warm temperatures to last until May 23.

But the hot sun will also be accompanied by apollen bombwhich will cause misery for hayfever sufferers, experts predict.

Weather radars show storms blasting in tonight

Weather radars show storms blasting in tonight信用: @UKxtremeweather
Bolts fill the sky above Swanage in Dorset as thunderstorms move north across the Channel

Bolts fill the sky above Swanage in Dorset as thunderstorms move north across the Channel信用: ©Graham Hunt
But there'll soon be a big change as temperatures hit 26C on Tuesday

But there’ll soon be a big change as temperatures hit 26C on Tuesday信用: Netweather