Milky Way rising above spectacular lightning display
Milky Way rising above spectacular lightning display.Twitter: @universetoday

While parts of the UK have just experienced a heatwave, dramatic storms swept across Britain on Friday with 17,000 lightning strikes over 24 hours and 3,000 bolts in the peak two hours.

Severe weather warnings have been issued by the Environment Agency, with 59 flood alerts, stating that every county in England and Wales was at risk of flooding. The agency said that 30mm of rain could fall in an hour in some areas during the storms.

The Met Office also issued an amber warning, meaning "be prepared".

"Torrential downpours are likely, with frequent lighting, large hail and locally strong gusts. Significant flooding is possible where these do occur from surface water as well as from small, fast-responding water courses," said a Met Office spokesperson.

Rain, thunder and lightning are expected to continue on Sunday and into Monday but skies could clear by Tuesday.

Lightning on the south coast of England. It looks like Armageddon on steroids, said Justin Stokes who took the photo.
Lightning on the south coast of England. It looks like Armageddon on steroids, said Justin Stokes who took the photo.Twitter: @justinstokes
Brighton Pier is the centre of a lightning storm.
Brighton Pier is the centre of a lightning storm.Twitter: Max Langran
The tall towers of Canary Wharf are the location for this thunder storm.
The tall towers of Canary Wharf are the location for this thunder storm.Twitter: @Zefrog
Clifton Suspension Bridge in Bristol is the centre of an electric storm.
Clifton Suspension Bridge in Bristol is the centre of an electric storm.Twitter: @TPSpencer88
Picture taken from the dressing room of Kent Cricket Club as the thunder and lightning light up the sky.
Picture taken from the dressing room of Kent Cricket Club as the thunder and lightning light up the sky.Twitter: @kentcricket
Lightning plays over the Bilston/Willenhall area in Wolverhampton.
Lightning plays over the Bilston/Willenhall area in Wolverhampton.Twitter: John Dawson