Hailstones the ‘size of golf balls’ and fierce lightning storms battered homes today but blue skies are set to return tomorrow – if only temporarily. Temperatures are set to soar to 82F (29 degrees Celsius) on Friday after today’s dramatic thunderstorms and heavy rain threatened to cause disruption at Wimbledon. Less than 24 hours after the UK saw the hottest July day on record, 19,000 lightning strikes ripped tiles from homes and left more than 57,500 homes without power in parts of North Yorkshire, County Durham, Tyne and Wear and Northumberland today..
Forecasters are predicting a sunny calm after the storm tomorrow morning but warn the stormy conditions will return with a severe weather warning for heavy rain and flash flooding in place across England and Wales in the evening. There is also a good chance of large hailstones and thunderstorms across the country through Saturday until Sunday where a westerly wind will break through the high humidity to make it feel fresher. The stormy weather comes after temperatures hit a scorching 36.7C (98.1F) at London Heathrow Airport on Wednesday, making it the warmest day in the country for 12 years and prompting health officials to warn people to stay out of the sun as Britain became hotter than Barcelona and Athens. FULL REPORT