Posts about thunderstorms are usually few and far between – the average number of thunderstorms in this part of the UK in a summer month (July) is just 3.5.
So experiencing four in four days must be very rare; the record for thunderstorms in a month is 12 in June 1982 though I’ve no idea how many of these were on consecutive days.
While the storms over the weekend were all about lightning this one was all about rain and loud thunder. Tuesday, May 29th, started cloudy and dull with some light rain. I was expecting some rain but it lingered and became heavier at 11.30am before turning torrential at 1pm, going against forecasts from BBC and Met Office – the trough was a lot further north than modelled. I pointed this out to the UKMO to be told that a yellow warning was in place for the whole SE region.
Some 26.5mm fell in just over two hours bringing lots of surface water and flash floods around Leyton and Walthamstow. At 1pm, while driving in this area, a bright flash was quickly followed by cannon-like thunder. A further fall in the early hours brought the 09-09 total rainfall to 29.8mm, the 5th greatest May fall since 1959.
With the storm the previous evening the 48hr rainfall total was 40mm!
In the neighbouring borough of Barking and Dagenham it was reported that lightning struck a chimney which caused a fire in a terraced house in Rush Green at 2pm.