Last night’s intense thunderstorm was probably most notable for its high-level sheet lightning than rainfall, thunder or fork lightning.
At my own station I recorded 4.8mm of rain which at its heaviest fell at a rate of 24.1mm/hr at 0046. To put that into perspective that’s just under a quarter of the rainfall rate during the thunderstorm at the beginning of last June. Rainfall in nearby Woodford Wells fell at a rate of 35.6mm/hr at 0040.
The rainfall was much heavier to the west of London.
Also of note was how warm the night was. A low of 15.3C made it the 8th equal warmest May night since 1959.
There’s probably going to be a few more storms this bank holiday weekend though it remains to be seen whether this is going to be a classic summer for storms.
At it’s peak at 2305 there were 16800 strikes, according to Blitzortung.
Lightning from the storm in the early hours of the 27th caused a fire at a house in Romford.
There is an account of the family’s ordeal here.
Here’s a few traces from the station.
Around the capital and the south east
Elsewhere in London there was some excellent footage posted on social media.
The 27th was fairly quiet but with abundant sunshine and little wind it wasn’t long before more storms, this time homegrown, developed over the Midlands and the south. Severe flash flooding was reported in the Selly Oak area of Birmingham after a month’s worth of rain fell.
And as dusk approached a huge storm toward to the north-west of London and Chilterns. With little wind the storm stayed more or less in situ, expending all its energy with the most amazing lightshow – lightning within cloud that became more and more vivid as darkness approached.
Because these storms can reach heights of 29,000ft – roughly the height of Everest – they can be seen from over 40 miles away.
I had a go myself.
Not bad but the best footage I’ve seen was captured by Simon Cardy from east London and can be seen here.
I also took this video.
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