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Train delays in Essex after lightning strike

Lightning strikes in Essex in the hours to 4.35pm on Sunday 20 July 2014. Credit: Met Office

There are train delays of up to an hour on Greater Anglia services between Stratford and Southend Victoria in Essex due to lightning strike.

Lines in both directions are blocked and trains may be delayed by up to 60 minutes. Engineers are en route to assess the problem.

Sunday's thunderstorms breaking out in Essex, Suffolk and Norfolk

Met Office rainfall radar image taken at 2.15pm showing a line of thunderstorms in east Norfolk, east Suffolk and east Essex. Credit: Met Office

Thunderstorms have started to break out over eastern parts of Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex.

The Met Office has a yellow weather alert in force warning of torrential thundery downpours in places with the risk of surface water flooding. There's also the possibility of hail and strong gusts of wind.

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Met Office yellow weather warning for further thunderstorms

Area affected by the Met Office yellow weather warning for thunderstorms. Credit: Met Office

There is a Met Office yellow weather warning in force for further heavy rain and thunderstorms across the Anglia region on Sunday.

The warning says: "Further heavy, thundery showers are likely to develop in some eastern parts of the UK today. Although many places within the warning area will stay dry, where storms do occur, torrential downpours are possible with lightning, hail and perhaps locally strong wind gusts. The most likely areas for local disruption are across parts of eastern and southeastern England."

The weather warning is valid until 11.55pm on Sunday 20 July 2014

"The remnants of the very warm, humid, unstable airmass are still affecting eastern and some central parts of the UK today. As a result, further thundery showers are likely to develop across these parts in response to daytime heating today. There remains some uncertainty regarding exactly where these may develop and, as often happens in this situation, some areas will stay dry."

– Met Office Chief Forecaster's Assessment
Satellite and rainfall radar image taken at 11.30am on Sunday 20 July 2014. Credit: Met Office

Family of four left homeless by one of three lightning strikes in Essex

Three properties were struck by lightning in Essex overnight. Credit: ITV News Anglia.

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.


Temperatures soar to 30°C in the Anglia region on hottest day of the year

Temperatures in the Anglia region at 3pm. Credit: Met Office

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

Hottest day of the year for the Anglia region may spark further thunderstorms tonight

Cloudless skies at 1pm for much of East Anglia. Credit: Met Office.

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.

Temperatures at 1pm in the Anglia region. Credit: Met Office.

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.

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