The UK will see sunshine and showers after a mix of intense heat and torrential rain in recent weeks.
After days of amber and yellow thunderstorm warnings for much of the country, the Met Office said “more typical” summer weather is in store.
It comes after 26,718 lightning strikes over the UK between Sunday and Wednesday – more than half of all UK lightning strikes (49,439) during the past 12 months.
This week’s thunderstorms produced torrential downpours in parts, leading to surface-water flooding and travel disruption, with much of the rainwater unable to sink into the hard-baked ground.
Met Office forecaster Craig Snell said: “It will be comfortable for most of the UK compared to the extreme heat we have been experiencing.
“Any rain that does fall from the sky will generally be much lighter than it has been.
“It will be a mixture of sunshine and showers, with the majority of the showers across the northern half of the country over the next few days.”
High Beech in Essex saw the most rainfall with 64.4mm, reached during a three-hour downpour, on Wednesday.
The Met Office said Holbeach in Lincolnshire had double August’s usual rainfall for the region overnight from Tuesday into Wednesday, with 138.8mm.
Storms on Wednesday saw some of London’s transport stations and streets flooded, while England’s Test match against South Africa at Lord’s cricket ground drew to an early close.
Some shops and platforms at central London’s busy Victoria Station were forced to shut temporarily after flooding at the main entrance saw a deluge of water running down a slope leading towards the eastern concourse.
Town hall officials in Hackney warned residents that “severe flooding” meant they should “avoid” Stoke Newington in the east London borough, and said they were working to clear drains and hand out sandbags.
Nottinghamshire County Council said at least 30 homes and businesses in the region were hit by downpours and an eight-foot-wide sinkhole reportedly appeared in a Matalan car park.
Friday will see early rain, which may be heavy for some, across south-east England, the Met Office said, with much of England and Wales possibly enjoying warm, sunny spells.
It may be breezy, but sunshine and scattered showers are expected for Northern and Scotland on Friday.
It comes days after Thames Water, which supplies 15 million people, announced it will put a hosepipe ban in place next week.
Despite the recent days of rain and thunderstorms, the company said water levels in its reservoirs are “much lower than usual”, with the ban in effect from August 24.
The firm joins Welsh Water, Southern Water and South East Water in implementing bans, with South West Water and Yorkshire Water following suit on August 23 and 26 respectively – meaning more than 29.4 million customers across the UK will be prohibited from using hosepipes by the end of next week.
Last month marked the driest July in England for 50 years and the driest first half of the year since 1976, while a heatwave sent temperatures in the UK to above 40C for the first time on record.
However, the Environment Agency said it will take weeks of rain to replenish water sources and end the drought.
Mr Snell said: “We have a typical summer weekend coming up.
“It is going to be a changeable week and we can expect some more rain in places, chiefly in the north but with temperatures nearer to where they should be rather than in the 30Cs that we had last week.”
It could mean temperatures of around 19C in Scotland and about 25C in south-east England by the weekend.
There could be sunshine and showers across the north on Friday and, after a wet start in the south east of England, the region is set to have a fine and dry day.
Mr Snell said the recent downpours caused disruption but were “hit and miss” in terms of the areas it affected.
He said: “I imagine for some people the rain is a nuisance but for others, I imagine they will have a smile on their face, because even though we have had some torrential downpours in places, there are still some parts in the UK which still have not seen a lot of rain.”
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