The Met Office has issued a weather warning for London and the Home Counties.

A yellow weather warning has been issued for thunderstorms overnight with heavy rain expected across London, Hertfordshire, and Essex.

The stormy weather is due to begin from around 9 or 10pm tonight (Wednesday) and last for a few hours - although some areas are already experiencing thunderstorms. 

The Met Office has forecast tonight's thunder and lightning will clear around midnight, but people may experience some hail, with heavy rain forecast for the rest of the night and into the morning.

The rain is forecast to eventually clear by Thursday mid-afternoon.

The rain will be welcomed by many after a long period of mainly dry weather, however the heavy downpours and stormy conditions could lead to flooding and disruption in some places, potentially power cuts - as well as a sleepless night.

Met Office chief meteorologist Neil Armstrong, speaking broadly for the UK, said, "Although some places will miss these heavy showers and thunderstorms, where they do occur they’ll be quite lively bringing torrential downpours with 25 to 35mm rain falling in an hour and a few places seeing perhaps 40 to 50mm rain in a couple of hours.

"With this heavy rain falling in a short time we could see some disruption to transport or damage to properties due to localised flooding, as well as the chance of lightning and hail."

Flash flooding in the north west of England on Tuesday left roads and shops submerged after heavy downpours struck the region.

Thunderstorms hit parts of Greater Manchester, Merseyside and Cheshire, causing police to urge drivers to drop their speed following reports of traffic collisions.

Pictures of lightning across the region were also shared on social media, along with videos of heavy rainfall.

More than 20 firefighters were called to a house fire in Sheffield after the property was struck by lightning.

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House fire in Sheffield. Credit: PA/James Martin