Moment lightning bolt hits sea in Cornwall captured on camera as heat warnings remain

The moment the lightning bolt strikes the water in Penzance.

The weather has gone from one extreme to another, with rain, thunder and lightning battering Devon and Cornwall.

Yesterday (18 July) people flocked to open spaces, beaches and lakes to try and keep cool in the sweltering heat.

But this morning, people in the region were greeted by dark skies and thunderstorms.

It is currently thundering from Ilfracombe down to Plymouth, but Cornwall was severely hit by storms first thing this morning.

The thunder is 'losing its oomph' all the time but the rain is still heavy, ITV West Country's weather presenter Charlie Powell reports.

The Duchess of Cornwall, who is visiting Cornwall today (19 July), apologised for bringing a summer deluge to the picturesque town of Launceston after the heatwave broke in Cornwall.

Mayor Leighton Penhale was the first dignitary in line to meet the royal visitors and joked with the duchess, telling her “I think you’ve brought the rain with you”, to which she replied “Sorry about that”.

Meanwhile, people posted on social media to share videos of the weather including huge lightning strikes.

This impressive strike was captured in Penzance this morning.

Today temperatures are much lower in Cornwall and Devon than yesterday, but they are still higher than the norm and an amber weather warning will still be in place until midnight tonight.

Currently, the highest temperature in the region is 31.3°C at Yeovilton, 27.5°C in Exeter, 21.3°C at Culdrose and 19.1°C at Cardinham.

The rain and thunder is passing now and it is expected to dry up this afternoon.

Lucy McRobert, communications manager for the Isles of Scilly Wildlife Trust, said she first heard the “rumblings” of thunder and lightning at around 5.30am.

“(It peaked) between 6.30 and 7am (and was) tracking up from the Bay of Biscay through the night,” the 31-year-old said.

“I don’t think we’ve ever been so relieved to see the sky go black and the rain start pouring.”

Ms McRobert added that the area’s wildlife and community are dependent on the rain and some species have been struggling.

“Our heathland habitats, our freshwater pools and most importantly our farmland will all be feeling very grateful,” she said.