South Scotland

Lightning storms hit parts of Scotland after hottest day

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Media captionLightning illuminates sky over Scotland

Spectacular lightning storms have hit parts of Scotland - hours after the country enjoyed the hottest day of the year.

Day turned to night in some parts as thunder, lightning flashes and heavy rain struck on Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning.

There were reports that "gobstopper-sized" hailstones dented cars at Eastriggs, near Annan.

And a church tower in Denny was damaged after it was struck by lightning.

Firefighters were called to Denny Old Parish Church at 09:52 but there was no sign of any fire.

A Church of Scotland spokesman said it did not cause major damage and steeplejacks would carry out temporary repairs.

Image copyright Celene Croy
Image caption The lightning strike blew slates off the tower of the Old Denny Parish Church
Image copyright Christine Glen
Image caption Christine Glen said hailstones in Eastriggs dented cars and caused flooding

In the Highlands, swimming pools complex Inverness Leisure and the Highland Folk Museum in Newtownmore were closed as a result of lightning and heavy rain.

Meanwhile in the Borders a lightning strike appears to have knocked out phones in the Eyemouth area.

Police and the fire service were in the Hinkar Way and Haymons Cove area amid concerns that it could have affected the 999 service.

Earlier a yellow warning of heavy rain in Scotland was issued by the Met Office.

Forecasters warned people to be aware of the risk of localised flash flooding.

The Met Office said: "Frequent lightning, large hail and strong winds could be additional hazards.

"All of this could lead to some flooding of homes, businesses and transport networks. Disruption to power is also possible."

Image copyright David MacFarlane
Image caption David MacFarlane took this picture of the darkening sky just before the storm hit Peebles
Image copyright Connor Brolly
Image caption Connor Brolly took this picture in Aberdeen
Image copyright Weather watchers
Image caption A lightning flash was captured on camera by another weather watcher in Bucksburn
Image copyright Aaron Gove
Image caption Aaron Gove saw lightning over Kincorth in Aberdeen at 04:00 on Wednesday

Residents in the Scottish Border were warned of possible severe weather with up to 50mm of rain expected in the region before the storm moves north east, according to the local authority.

A spokesman for Scottish Borders Council said extremely heavy, isolated downpours of rain were forecast, as well as the potential for hail, significant lightning and strong gusts of wind.

Images from the University of Dundee's satellite receiving station dramatically illustrated the changing nature of the British summer.

One taken at 12:55 on Tuesday shows only a light cloud covering in Scotland, where temperatures soared to 29C.

In a second picture taken almost 24 hours later, much of the country is covered in the thick cloud as it endured thunder, lightning and heavy rain.

Image copyright University of Dundee
Image caption Dundee University's satellite images illustrate the changing nature of the British summer.
Image copyright Rory Stewart
Image caption Rory Stewart said it was like a scene from "Independence Day" before the storm hit the Scottish Borders village of Bowden
Image copyright Weather watchers
Image caption A flash of lightning in Kinloss was photographed by a weather watcher
Image copyright Jacqueline Parkinson
Image caption Jacqueline Parkinson took a photograph of the lightning storm in Gourock

The twists and turns in the weather continued into Wednesday evening, with a storm funnel being spotted over Lauder in the Scottish Borders.

The funnel clouds are created when rapidly rotating winds form beneath heavy shower or thunder clouds.

Image copyright Aaron Frizzel
Image caption Aaron Frizzel spotted this funnel in the skies over Lauder
Image copyright Michelle Cushin
Image caption The spinning cloud was also spotted near Lauder by Michelle Cushin

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