Violent electrical storm hits UK, producing more than 60 000 lightning strikes in a day

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A violent electrical storm swept over the UK on Saturday and Sunday, May 26 and 27, 2018, producing up to 60 000 lightning strikes in 24 hours.

Meteorologists said temperatures on Saturday reached 27 °C (80.6 °F) before violent thunderstorm struck around 23:00 local time. 

According to AP, meteorologist Charlie Powell said information suggested that there were somewhere between 15 000 and 20 000 strikes across the United Kingdom overnight. Weather forecasters said they had never seen so many lightning strikes from a single storm.

The UK Met Office later said the country was struck by lightning more than 60 000 times in 24 hours.

Five properties were struck by lightning in Warwickshire and in Dawlish, Devon, a phone box burst into flames after a telephone pole was also hit by lightning, Sky News reported

Some 17 flood alerts were issued for parts of the Thames Valley and nearly 1 000 properties in Midlands were left without power.

The storm also disrupted flights from Stansted Airport after its fueling system got damaged by a lightning strike on Sunday morning. The event delayed more than 200 planes and canceled 31 departures and 18 arrivals. 

London Fire Brigade received more than 500 weather-related calls, most of them due to flooding.

A Yellow Warning for Rain is in effect for Monday afternoon, including East of England, London & South East England, South West England and Wales.

Whilst many areas will miss these and see little or no rain any thunderstorms that do form are likely to be slow moving, Met office warned. These could give 25 – 35 mm (1 – 1.4 inches) of rain in less than an hour with the potential for 50 – 60 mm (2 – 2.4 inches) in 2-3 hours were separate storms to affect the same location.

There is a small chance that homes and businesses could be flooded quickly, with damage to some buildings from floodwater, lightning strikes, hail or strong winds. Spray and sudden flooding could lead to difficult driving conditions and some road closures.

Where flooding or lightning strikes occur, there is a chance of delays and some cancellations to train and bus services.

There is also a slight chance that power cuts could occur and other services to some homes and businesses could be lost.

Featured image credit: CGTN

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