Huge thunderstorm hits London with 'biblical' rain as Met Office issues fresh weather warning

A “biblical” storm hit London early on Thursday morning, with the Met Office issuing two yellow weather alerts warning of flooding and travel disruption.

Huge flashes of lightning and deafening thunder woke many Londoners up, with the thunderstorm weather warning in place overnight.

Another thunderstorm warning has been issued on Thursday for large parts of the Midlands, East of England and Wales - as well as neighbouring regions.

The yellow warning is in place from midday until midnight and could lead to travel disruption and some flooding, the Met Office said.

On Wednesday night lightning strike damaged the roof of a care home in Elmer, West Sussex and a university building in Chichester. Students were safely relocated but the roof and electrics were damaged, West Sussex fire and rescue service said.

However, Thursday could also be the warmest day of the year for many parts of the country, although the capital is expected to see highs of only 19C.

Writing online, one Londoner said: “I spent 2 years in the Tampa Bay, home of the lightning and never experienced a storm like that! literally thought a bomb had gone off over London.”

Another added: “The storm over London right now is crazy. Proper movie set thunder and lightning.”

The Met Office advised the storms might cause travel disruption and some flooding, leading to “difficult driving conditions and some road closures”.

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

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.”

While southern parts of the country experienced heavy rain, areas in the North should stay dry and warm.

Looking ahead to the Bank Holiday weekend, Mr Petagna said the forecast showed a “very mixed picture”.

Most areas of the country are likely to experience some rain but temperatures will remain fairly warm, in the mid to late teens.

For the Bank Holiday, London is expected to see sunny weather changing to light showers by early evening on Saturday, while Sunday is expected to start off cloudy and then turn sunnier.

There are likely to be showers across the country on Monday.

Wednesday was the warmest day of the year so far, as temperatures reached a peak of 22.1C in Santon Downham in Suffolk.