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UK hit by thunderstorms and torrential rain as weather warnings issued

Yellow warnings for thunderstorms were in place across southern England this morning as dramatic lightning and heavy downpours hit the UK on Thursday.

The Met Office issued weather warnings for the south and south-west of England as well as parts of Wales, warning of potential travel problems for commuters.

Storms might cause travel disruption and flooding to homes and businesses, leading to “difficult driving conditions and some road closures”, according to the Met Office.

There is also a chance of delays and some cancellations to train and bus services, along with a small possibility of power cuts.

Lightning illuminated the sky and thunder rocked southern parts of the country early this morning as people woke up to torrential rain.

Fire crews were called to a lightning strike which damaged the roof of a residential care home in Elmer, West Sussex overnight, with residents safely relocated and power supplier SSE called in to make the electricity supply safe.

Fire crews were called to a care home that was struck by lightning in Elmer, West Sussex just before 2am (Photo: West Sussex Fire and Rescue)

Damage may be caused to some buildings from floodwater, lightning strikes, hail or strong winds, the Met Office warned.

National Rail said a storm on Thursday morning damaged electricity supply between Westbury in Wiltshire, and Castle Cary in Somerset

“Lightning damaging the electricity supply between Westbury and Castle Cary means some lines are blocked,’’ an alert issued at 5.30am read. “As a result, trains may be cancelled, delayed or diverted.”

There were also minor delays reported on on South Western and Great Western railways.

On the Tube, the District Line and London Overground were part suspended due to a points failure and a signal failure

The warning for the south west of England and Wales was in place until 8am on Thursday, while a warning in south-east England has been extended to 10am on Thursday.

Yellow weather warnings are in place across the south and south west of England and parts of Wales (Photo: Met Office)

The second warning started at 11pm last night and covered most of the south-east, from Oxford and including London, with up to two inches of rain predicted to fall overnight in some areas.

Social media users reported hearing “deafening” thunder which one resident said caused their building to shake.

Despite the heavy rain, some parts of the country could see their highest temperatures of the year on Thursday after Wednesday saw the warmest day of 2024 so far as the mercury peaked at 22.1C.

Marco Petagna, a meteorologist at the Met Office, said: “After a night of storms, the rain will ease in the south of England for a while tomorrow.

“We could see the skies brightening up in a few places and it will be another warm day. Parts of the South East could even get to 24 degrees and beat today’s temperatures.”

“But as the skies brighten and temperatures increase, this could spark a few more thundery showers in the afternoon, so it is likely to still be a bit unsettled and the forecast will be changeable over the next few days.”

Source: iNews