The sky over the UK lit up as the “mother of all thunderstorms” saw lightning strike between 15,000 and 20,000 times.
Dramatic pictures showed the skies over London, southern England and other parts of the UK explode with light and sound during the dramatic storm.
The London Fire Brigade said it had taken more than 500 weather-related calls as the warm and humid Bank Holiday weather broke down into an “utterly intense” storm, though no fires were reported to have been started by lighting strikes.
In Warwickshire, the fire service said five properties were struck by lightning in the early hours of Sunday, while in Dawlish, Devon, a telephone box burst into flames after a BT pole was hit on Saturday evening.
Western Power Distribution said nearly 1,000 properties had been left without power across the Midlands, with the majority of outages down to lightning.
A cluster of 17 flood alerts has been issued for parts of the Thames Valley, while West Midlands and Bedfordshire fire services warned motorists of the risks of driving on flood-hit roads.
Met Office meteorologist Charlie Powell said information suggested there were “somewhere between 15,000 and 20,000 strikes across the UK during the overnight period”.
He explained: “Temperatures overnight did not fall much below 15 or 16 degrees, for the end of May that’s a pretty hot and humid night so everything was primed.
“We had some storms coming in from northern France and some building up in the Channel and they sort of spread out and have been working their way in.
“It looks like there just one huge area of thundery showers that worked across London just before midnight.”
A Met Office warning of heavy thunderstorms is in place until 6am on Monday, covering much of England and all of Wales.