Residents were “relieved” as Cornwall was hit by lightning and downpours amid the heat wave

Thunder, lightning and downpours were greeted with relief by people in Cornwall as temperatures soared across the rest of the UK.

As temperatures topped 40C for the first time in Britain, storms chilled Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, with the Met Office forecasting temperatures in the low 20s in Penzance on Tuesday.

Lucy McRobert, communications manager for the Isles of Scilly Wildlife Trust, told the PA news agency that she first heard the “clatter” of thunder and lightning around 5.30am.

“(It peaked) between 6.30am and 7am (and was) tracked from the Bay of Biscay throughout the night,” the 31-year-old said.

“I don’t think we’ve ever been so relieved to see the sky darken and the rain begin to pour.”

Ms McRobert added that the area’s wildlife and community depended on the rain and some species were struggling.

“Our heathen habitats, our freshwater pools and most importantly our farmland will all feel very grateful,” she said.

The Met Office reported a maximum temperature of 34.2C on Monday, but Will James, 40, associate director from Redruth, said the thunder was “certainly no surprise”.

“I’ve learned to always expect the unexpected in Cornwall. And take forecasts with a grain of salt,” the 40-year-old told PA.

Mr James tweeted two photos of the view from Redruth towards the Four Lanes and Carn Brea hills, taken about an hour and a half apart, showing how quickly the weather had changed.

The first photo, taken at about 8.10am, showed lightning coming from thick clouds, while the other, taken at 9.30am, was of a mostly blue sky.

“That’s Cornwall weather for you,” said Mr James.

“It feels a lot fresher and less gloomy now after the storms. It’s nice to know I won’t have to water the plants now.”

Other regions of Cornwall that experienced thunder and lightning included the Lizard peninsula in the south and Mount’s Bay, Penzance, and many social media users shared images of forked lightning striking off the coast.

Twitter user @GoodbyJeff jokingly posted: “So how’s #deathwave #Heatwave2022 going for us in Sunny Cornwall this morning?”

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