Homes destroyed after intense thunderstorms and nearly a month’s worth of rain in just 3 hours, UK
Intense thunderstorms spawned lightning strikes that destroyed a number of houses across England as the North West, East Midlands, and South West received up to 50 mm (2 inches) of rain over three hours on June 16, 2020. It was almost equivalent to the entire UK's average rainfall in June, which is 62 mm (2.4 inches).
A number of houses in Merseyside, Birmingham, and Sheffield were pictured in smoke after they were struck by lightning. One home in Barnston Road called emergency services when Merseyside was being pounded by heavy rain and thunder.
It was not yet clear whether anyone as inside the home when a fork of lightning hit the house, causing a fire. Authorities closed the road in both directions as firefighters worked to contain the blaze and safeguard the property.
The roof sustained extensive damage, as well as an attached garage. No injuries have been reported.
Another residential property went up in smoke in the West Midlands. Firemen were summoned to New Leasow in Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham after the owner reported that his TV set had "popped".
The crew arrived promptly and was able to put out the fire. The owner and his family also evacuated before firefighters arrived.
"Crews from Sutton Coldfield and Erdington in attendance at a house in New Leasow, New Hall Read," said West Midlands Fire Service.
"Breathing apparatus teams worked quickly to contain the damage caused by a lightning strike. Occupier was alerted by his TV popping."
In Sheffield, South Yorkshire, a three-story house was caught in flames during the thunderstorm. Five fire engines and a huge crew of firefighters rushed to the scene and extinguished the flames for a short time.
South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue confirmed that no one was harmed.
"Our firefighters were called to Millhouses Lane in Sheffield earlier this evening," a service spokesperson said.
"The call was to a house fire which we believe started when the roof was struck by lightning. Excellent work from crews to get this sorted so quickly– no injuries to report either."
Areas in the North West, East Midlands, and South West recorded up to 50 mm (2 inches) of rain over three hours, which is nearly equivalent to the UK's average June rainfall of 62 mm (2.4 inches).
According to the Met Office, the first half of July will likely see mixed conditions. "On the whole, it will probably be changeable with spells of rain or showers being mixed in with drier and brighter interludes. The best of the drier, brighter spells are likely in the south and east."
However, there may also be some settled spells at times that are more widely across the country.
"As is usual this time of year, some thundery interludes are also likely, particularly in the south. Temperatures should be generally near or somewhat above average, with the possibility of further brief and very warm spells."
Featured image credit: Pixabay
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Haven’t they heard of lightning rods in the UK?