A family of four has been left homeless after their house was struck by lightning during the storms overnight.
It was one of three strikes at properties in Essex as the region was battered by heavy rain and thunder.
The family's home at Keswick Avenue at Holland on Sea was hit at about 4.25am Saturday. It sparked a fire in two semi-detached bungalows.
Firefighters spent more than two hours tackling the blaze.
Earlier, three crews were called to a house at Murrell Lock, Chelmsford, where smoke had been seen pouring from the roof following another lightning strike.
It happened at about 10.45pm on Friday and spread from the roof to the first floor.
No one was hurt but crews remained on the site until just after 5am on Saturday.
And at just after 6am, Essex fire service was called to a third fire in a garage at Clacton Road in Elmstead, near Colchester, which was also thought to have been started by a lightning strike.
Firefighters worked quickly to stop the blaze spreading to the house attached to the garage.
The temperature in the Anglia region reached 31.6°C (88.9°F) in Writtle near Chelmsford, Essex making it the hottest day of the year in this area.
A number of other spots in Anglia region reached 30°C
Temperatures in the Anglia region at 4pm on Friday 18 July 2014
- 30.0°C in Harpenden, Herts
- 29.8°C in Marham, Norfolk
- 29.7°C in Holbeach, Herts
- 29.6°C in Wittering, Cambs
- 29.0°C in Bedford
- 28.9°C in Andrewsfield near Braintree, Essex
The Highway Agency is warning motorists to take extra care during heavy, thundery showers expected over the weekend.Read the full story ›
Temperatures have reached 28.8°C at Santon Downham in Suffolk so far this afternoon, beating the previous hottest temperature this year of 28.7°C at Writtle in Essex and Weybourne in Norfolk.
Following dramatic thunderstorms last night, it was a slow start to the hottest day of the year with cloudy skies and further thundery showers in some places this morning.
However, in the sunshine that followed the storms, temperatures have shot up very quickly with the mercury reaching the high 20s widely throughout the region. Highs of 30 to 32°C are possible later this afternoon.
The build of heat and humidity today is expected to set off further severe thunderstorms tonight and later on Saturday. The Met Office have issued rainfall warnings because of the potential for disruption throughout Saturday.
Thunderstorms have been affecting parts of the Anglia region as the mini heatwave kicks in.Read the full story ›
Tomorrow will possibily be one of the hottest days for many years, and that's prompted Public Health England to issue an alert about the dangers of the heat - particularly to the very young and the elderly.
The Met Office also says we could have very heavy downpours and thunderstorms this weekend.
Click below to watch a report from ITV News Anglia's Malcolm Robertson
It's been a boiling day in East Anglia, and you've been out and about enjoying the sunshine.Read the full story ›
Temperatures have been soaring throughout the Anglia region, and a group of Lemurs in Cambridgeshire have been keeping cool in the scorching conditions by tucking into a frozen fruit smoothie.
Boomer and friends are some of the star attractions at Shepreth Wildlife Park near Cambridge, and staff are working hard to ensure the animals can cope with the hot weather.
There's a warning by Public Health England this morning of heatwave conditions across the East of England for the next few days.
The high temperature alert's been issued as forecasters predict at least two days of very high temperatures.
People are being advised to stay out of the sun during the hottest part of the day.
Britain is set to bask in the sunshine in the next few days with health officials issuing guidance on how to stay safe in the sunshine.Read the full story ›