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Region hit by 15,000 lightning strikes overnight - with highs of 37C on the way

PUBLISHED: 07:10 24 July 2019 | UPDATED: 14:12 24 July 2019

One of the strikes captured on camera on the outskirts of Suffolk, near Sudbury Picture: MATT DE LA BRUYERE

One of the strikes captured on camera on the outskirts of Suffolk, near Sudbury Picture: MATT DE LA BRUYERE

MATT DE LA BRUYERE

Two dramatic thunderstorms will make way for scorching temperatures today - with the mercury set to hit potentially record-breaking heights tomorrow.

Lightning is on its way this evening Picture: PAUL CHAPMANLightning is on its way this evening Picture: PAUL CHAPMAN

After a sweltering start to the week, experts are predicting a cocktail of extreme weather for Suffolk and Essex - with thunderstorms making way for scorching temperatures over the next few days.

Chris Bell, forecaster for Weatherquest, said the region could expect highs of up to 37C tomorrow - just one degree short of the UK's all-time record.

Overnight East Anglia was rattled by roughly 15,000 lightning strikes, as thunderstorms shook the region.

Forecaster Dan Holley tweeted that there had been 22,000 strikes last night - but this includes areas as far west as Northamptonshire.

Two thunderstorms shook East Anglia overnight Picture: WQRADARTwo thunderstorms shook East Anglia overnight Picture: WQRADAR

Mr Bell called it a "pretty prolific lightning event".

"Since midnight, across East Anglia and the North Sea close to us, there has been as many as 15,000 lightning strikes," he said.

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"They are all clear to the north now - it's going to be a dry day today."

The first storm came up across the region between 2am and 4am, while the second round has swept over East Anglia in the last couple of hours.

Mr Bell said he expects temperatures could reach 32C in some parts of the region today, but that will not compare to tomorrow's sweltering highs.

The mercury could reach a staggering 37C on Thursday, with the highest temperatures most likely to be recorded in the west of the region.

Mr Bell said: "The major weather story is the heat. Today you could easily be looking at 32C in the county.

"Tomorrow is the one that is going to be potentially record-breaking for the highest temperature we have seen in the UK."

The region could see thunderstorms again on Thursday night, before another scorcher on Friday - with temperatures likely to hit 30C.

Mr Bell added: "If you have got someone you know whose health is vulnerable it is worth checking on them in the next few days."

- Did you get any snaps of the storms last night? Send your pictures here

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