Spectacular lightning strikes parts of UK

media captionLightning strikes parts of UK

Thunderstorms and torrential rain have swept across parts of southern Britain, with lightning flashing across the sky.

Around 15,000 lightning strikes were recorded in four hours on Saturday night, BBC Weather said.

Stansted Airport reported delays to flights on Sunday morning after a lightning strike briefly left its aircraft fuelling system "unavailable".

The Met Office has issued a yellow warning for heavy rain and flooding across Wales and most of England.

A house in Stanway, Essex, lost its roof to a fire after lightning struck it in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Firefighters worked on the blaze for almost three hours, eventually extinguishing it at 04:30 BST. No injuries were reported in the incident.

image captionFirefighters arrived at a house in Essex to find the whole of the roof alight

Later in the morning, storms brought more than an inch of rain to parts of Wales and the Midlands in just an hour.

Parts of Wales and central and southern England could see further thunderstorms on both Sunday and bank holiday Monday, with the Met Office warning of the possibility of power cuts and delays to trains and buses.

image copyrightReuters
image captionThe Met Office has warned of flooding and possible damage to buildings from lightning, which is pictured here striking over the city of London
image copyrightPA/TowerRNLI
image captionBolts of lightning flash across the sky over the River Thames in this photo taken by the RNLI late on Saturday night
image copyrightEms - Hayling Island/@auntymems
image captionA dramatic and purple sky was photographed over Hayling Island, off the south coast of England near Portsmouth, as thunderstorms moved northwards across the mainland

Many people got out their cameras to photograph and video Saturday night's electrical storm, which was called "utterly insane" and "like being under a strobe light".

Others remarked that they had "never seen a storm quite like this" and said the flashes were "stunning".

image copyrightAndrew Lanxon Hoyle/@Batteryhq
image captionBolts light up the sky over the the Suleymaniye Mosque in Dalston, east London
image copyrightJason Arthur
image captionJason Arthur took this picture in Gravesend, Kent
image copyrightRoy McDonald
image captionLightning turns the sky purple over Leighton Buzzard

BBC Weather presenter Tomasz Schafernaker called it the "mother of all thunderstorms" as he watched it over London.

"I've never seen a storm with such frequent lightning in my life I don't think. Mostly sheet lightning and not too loud but flashes are spectacular," he said.

image copyrightBen Hensel
image captionWest Wellow, Hampshire, was the stage for this impressive photograph by Ben Hensel
image copyrightYulia Emelianenko
image captionYulia Emelianenko captured the scene above Canary Wharf in London
image copyrightPaul Greenford tyres/@Atko80
image captionPaul Greenford was in a caravan at a campsite in Henley-on-Thames when the heavy rain and lightning storm struck
image copyrightHarry Neary/@grumpyrocker
image captionHarry Neary, who began setting up his camera once he noticed the lightning flashes, photographed bolts near the village of Broadwindsor in Dorset

Forecaster Gemma Plumb, from BBC Weather, said that as the storms pushed northwards across England on Sunday, more would be coming up over the English Channel from the continent.

The Met Office weather warning for rain is in force until 06:00 on Monday and covers all of Wales as well as southern and central England.

Flooding of homes and businesses could happen quickly, the Met Office said. It added that fast-flowing or deep floodwater was possible with damage to some buildings from flooding, lightning strikes, hail or strong winds.

It comes after a warm Saturday, with a top temperature of 27.3C in Hurn, Dorset.

image copyright@samueltwilkinson/PA
image captionA long strike of lightning dwarfs London's Shard, which stands at 310m
image copyrightReuters
image captionLightning strikes above Wembley Stadium in London on Saturday night, where Fulham beat Aston Villa in the Championship play-off final earlier in the day
image copyrightKarl McCarthy/@McCarthyKarl
image captionThe cloudy sky was lit up in purple as lightning struck above Tredegar in south Wales
image copyrightJ/@dxtjxsh
image captionHundreds of people in London took out their cameras to snap the lightning storm, including in Plaistow, in the east of the capital
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