Storms herald cooler temperatures after hottest July day

Cooler temperatures are forecast after thunderstorms and heavy downpours hit parts of Britain after the hottest July day on record.

Wednesday saw the hottest July day on record with a maximum recorded temperature of 36.7C (98F).

But temperatures are expected to be lower today, although parts of south-east England could still see the mercury rise to around 26C (79F).

Western parts of England and Wales could see heavy showers during the day, while hail and lightning struck the North and Scotland overnight, according to forecasters.

MeteoGroup's Nick Prebble said: "Temperatures will be suppressed today, about 10C lower than yesterday with highs of 25C or 26C. It will be noticeably cooler but still warm.

"Friday will likely stay nice and dry across most places and temperatures will be a little warmer, around 27C or 28C, although there will be some unsettled weather Friday night with more thunderstorms, possibly in the south west of England.

"Looking into the weekend, it could top 30C again on Saturday in the South East and London and temperatures will be above average elsewhere too going into Sunday."