A violent thunderstorm swept through northern France and southern England on Sunday, May 28 into May 29, 2017, causing power disruption in both countries. It came after almost 30 °C (86 °F) May heatwave.
The storm moved through France on Sunday, crossed the English Channel and hit Kent, UK around 01:00 local time Monday, causing power disruption as well as loss of TV and phone signals.
According to media reports, the storm produced 40 000 lightning strikes in northern France within just two hours. Some mention 500 strikes within a minute.
The Daily Mail reported the storm hit areas all across Kent, including Folkestone, Canterbury, Dover, Herne Bay, Maidstone, Ashford, Sittingbourne, Whitstable, the Isle of Sheppey and Faversham.
According to the UK Met Office, the UK has been hit by more than 60 000 lightning strikes and heavy rain overnight.
In Kent, firefighters responded to two house fires caused by a direct lightning strike.
Insane strike rate on this thunderstorm NW France right now. Could be a taste of things to come for Kent overnight pic.twitter.com/O26JNAdEtG— KentStormChasers (@KentStormChaser) May 28, 2017
Dr. Michael de Villiers, a senior meteorologist at The Weather Channel, said even though the massive storm would fizzle out there was still the chance of the odd rumble of thunder as it edged north.
"Low pressure will move north accompanied by cloudy to overcast sky with light to moderate rain. It will be drier in the south with sunny spells, although there may still be thundery showers," he added. "It will feel very warm and rather humid across south-eastern England. The thunder risk will fall to slight."
Couldn't think of a better place to capture the lightning with my wife tonight than the church we got married in! pic.twitter.com/sQwSe3Udo9— KentStormChasers (@KentStormChaser) May 29, 2017
Featured image credit: Mark Alan James Battersby