Page last updated at 11:04 GMT, Thursday, 7 August 2008 12:04 UK

In pictures: summer storm

Lightning over Hawkhurst  - Photo by Francesca Boorman

It was a very stormy night on Wednesday, when a line of thunderstorms battered south-east England for several hours.

Storm photos over eastbourne - photo by Stuart Mepham

The storms formed across France during the afternoon and steadily headed north, crossing the English Channel. They hit the south coast, dropping torrential rain, during the early evening.

Forked lightning in Hassocks, West Sussex - photo by Greg Haines

There was little wind so the storms were quite slow moving. It steadily edged north and eastwards through the night, delivering torrential downpours and spectacular lightning displays.

Lightning over blocks of flats in south London

The dramatic storms affected the South East, with Sussex, Kent, Surrey, south London, Essex and East Anglia worst hit.

Hailstones in Newhaven - photos by Stephen Pilfold

BBC South East Today weather presenter Kaye Forster said: "The storms produced very large hailstones more attune with storms in the US."

Hail stones in Peacehaven - Photo by Pam Beaumont

The hailstones that accompanied the lightning were the size of marbles in some areas, which is a very rare occurrence in the UK.

Storm photos over Eastbourne - photo by Stuart Mepham

During Wednesday, the south-east of England was smothered in very moist and humid air. As the humidity increased, the build up of energy was finally released in a dramatic lightning display.

Storm over Newhaven - Photo by David Rein

Thunderstorms are common during the British summertime, but the intense nature of Wednesday's storms made them a sight to behold.

Lightning over a church in south London

The severe storms cleared into the North Sea early on Thursday morning, although there remains a risk of isolated thundery showers developing on Thursday.


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