The summer heat wave came to a dramatic end as torrential rain and flash flooding caused travel chaos across the east, south and south-east of England. Half a month's rain fell in just a few hours in parts of the country. A train was derailed outside Watford Junction after it hit a landslip.

Social media was, um, flooded with pictures and videos of severely waterlogged rail stations and roads, including Didcot Parkway, where water can be seen rising up stairwells and partly submerging ticket barriers. A strong smell of sewage was also reported.

Many people who were woken up in the middle of the night by violent thunderstorms across the country took to social media to share photos and videos of lightning bolts.

There were reports of roads and properties being inundated across Surrey, Hampshire, Hertfordshire and Greater London as a band of torrential rain moved in from the Channel overnight. Surrey Fire and Rescue Service said it had been called to reports of a house struck by lightning near Woking, while crews worked to pump water out of flooded premises across the county.

Met Office meteorologist Martin Combe said 32.8mm of rain had fallen in just three hours in Farnborough, Hampshire — nearly half the 70mm average for September. He said: "The showers and thunderstorms are going to carry on for quite some time moving slowly north and eastwards, remaining around London through the morning and all afternoon in East Anglia."

A narrow corridor west of London is expected to be hit by "exceptionally heavy, thundery rain" accompanied by hail today (16 September), the Met Office said.