Residents ‘relieved’ as Cornwall hit by lightning and showers amid heatwave

The Met Office forecasting temperatures in the low 20s in Penzance.

19 July 2022

Thunder, lightning and downpours were met with relief by Cornwall residents as temperatures surged across the rest of the UK.

As temperatures passed 40C for the first time in the UK, storms cooled 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 she first heard the “rumblings” of thunder and lightning at around 5.30am.

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

“I don’t think we’ve ever been so relieved to see the sky go black and the rain start pouring.”

Ms McRobert added that the area’s wildlife and community are dependent on the rain and some species have been struggling.

“Our heathland habitats, our freshwater pools and most importantly our farmland will all be feeling very grateful,” she said.

The Met Office reported a high of 34.2C on Monday, but Will James, 40, an associate director from Redruth, said the thunder was “certainly not a surprise”.

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

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

The first photo, taken at roughly 8.10am, showed a bolt of 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 muggy now after the storms. It’s nice to know I won’t have to water the plants now.”

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

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

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