Land has been left parched by a lack of wet weather but heavy downpours hit various parts of the country on Tuesday and Wednesday, bringing an end to the dry conditions.
The heavy slow-moving showers had led the Met Office to issue an amber thunderstorm warning covering most of the south east of England, including parts of London, on Wednesday.
A yellow thunderstorm warning was also in place for the east of England, London and the south east plus the south west.
The sudden downpours flooded some of London’s transport stations and streets, and brought England’s Test match at Lord’s cricket ground against South Africa to an early close.
Some shops and platforms at central London’s busy Victoria Station were forced to close for a period after flooding at the main entrance left large volumes of water running down a slope leading towards the eastern concourse.
The Almeida theatre in Islington, north London, also had to cancel a matinee performance as water leaked through the roof.
Footage from the venue, posted on social media, showed audience members evacuating after the opening hour of Peter Morgan’s new play Patriots.
The heaviest downpours on Tuesday were at Spadeadam in Cumbria, with 25.4mm of rain, and in Trengwainton House, Cornwall, with 18.4mm, the Met Office said.
Footage and photos shared to social media showed torrential rain and floodwater sweeping through towns across southern England and Wales, including Newquay in Cornwall, Bishop’s Tawton in Devon, Haywards Heath in West Sussex, Port Talbot in south-west Wales, and Bridport in Dorset.
One Twitter user shared a video of floodwater in Newquay, writing: “I’ve never seen rain like this. Our road is flooding #Newquay.”
Another Twitter user in Bishop’s Tawton, north Devon, said: “(F)lash flooding causing use of sandbags to prevent water in house, despite recent flood work by @EnvAgency urgent need for solutions.”
Lingering showers could hit parts of the UK on Thursday, with the Met Office issuing a yellow thunderstorm warning across parts of Kent, in south east England, for the first half of the day.