Thunderstorms hit Cumbria as weather warning issued
Thunder and lightning has struck Cumbria this morning, with a weather warning in place across the county.
Bouts of torrential downpours, frequent lightning and even hail are forecaste for today's summer solstice.
A yellow warning for rain has been issued by the Met Office for today and tomorrow, covering the whole of Cumbria.
Following some early downpours and thunderstorms, the bad weather is expected to continue throughout the day.
The Met Office says extensive thunderstorms may then break out from late afternoon and onwards in to the evening "leading to torrential downpours, frequent lightning and a chance of hail".
It could result in disruption, more likely from late afternoon.
It may include "sudden localised flooding" of transport routes, homes and businesses, warns the Met Office.
Power supplies could also be disrupted by frequent lightning associated with the heaviest rain.
"However, many places will likely see little or no impacts. Indeed many parts of the warning area will see dry and sunny weather through much of the daytime on Wednesday", the Met Office is keen to stress.
Up to 20-30mm of rain could fall in one or two hours today, according to the chief forecaster at the Met Office.
The most severe weather could see 30-40mm in an hour in some places.
Severe weather episodes are not expected to occur at the same time across the whole of the north west region covered by the warning, according to the chief forecaster's assessment.
The threat of heavy rain and thunder is initially confined to parts of northern England but will eventually hit a large part of England and Wales.