Storm tracker: When are lightning strikes happening near me?

Will Taylor
·News Reporter
·2-min read
Lightning strikes near St Mary's Lighthouse in Whitley Bay, north east England, as more rain and thunderstorms brought further flood warnings across the UK. Picture date: Monday August 5, 2019. See PA story WEATHER Rain. Photo credit should read: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire
A lightning tracker allows you to see where the latest flashes have taken place. (Owen Humphreys/PA Wire)

A website tracking lightning across the UK reveals where the nearest storms are to you amid this week’s dramatic hot weather.

Many parts of the country have seen the sunny weather give way to thunder and lightning, with some areas experiencing flooding.

Anyone interested in seeing how near that latest thunderclap was can check Lightning Maps, which has a real time tracker showing where lightning strikes are taking place.

The Lightningmaps.org storm tracker shows where lightning is taking place. (Lightningmaps.org)
The Lightningmaps.org storm tracker shows where lightning is taking place. (Lightningmaps.org)

As of 9.30am, it displayed patches of lightning north of London, towards Cambridge and the East of England.

Data for other countries is also available on the interactive map.

Lightning Maps collects data about the strikes, which are detected by radio frequency networks, and visualises it in an accessible way.

Not every stroke is caught – the easiest to detect being cloud to ground strikes as opposed to events within clouds – but the accuracy of the detection can be less than one kilometre from where it took place.

Flooding at Queen Victoria Hospital car park, in Kirkcaldy, Fife, Scotland. Thunderstorm warnings are still current for most of the UK on Wednesday, while high temperatures are forecast again for many parts of England.
While the UK has experienced hot temperatures, many places have also seen storms and flooding. (PA)

The Met Office has put a yellow warning for thunderstorms in place for much of England, Wales, parts of Northern Ireland and a section of south-west Scotland.

“Some places are likely to see severe thunderstorms during Thursday, but with significant uncertainty in location and timing,” the Met Office website states.

It says there is a “small chance” of flooding and a risk of cancelled public transport services, a “slight chance” of power cuts and a “small chance” of fast flowing water causing danger to life.

The impact of stormy weather has been brought into focus after the tragic train derailment in Scotland on Wednesday, in which three people died.

Although politicians have stressed that an investigation will need to determine the cause, speculation has focused on the flooding experienced in the Stonehaven area, where the train is thought to have come off the track in a landslip.

Boris Johnson told Sky News that it is “probably a very good idea to look at the effect of substantial rainfall on all our vulnerable infrastructure everywhere”.

He said he understood a month’s worth of rainfall had happened in a “very short period”, but an investigation will have to take place to determine what happened.

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