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Sizzling summer day for some but torrential storms for others

With many enjoying the hottest day of the year so far, as temperatures soared above 34C, others were blighted by torrential rain, thunder and lightning.

Marking the most sizzling September day in more than 100 years, the heatwave brought a blistering high of 34.4C (94F) in Gravesend in Kent, the warmest day for the month since 1911, said the Met Office.

But as others soaked up the sunshine, storms caused travel chaos and flooding on Tuesday afternoon after yellow rain warnings were issued for the North West, North East, Yorkshire and into parts of Scotland.

Roads and streets were swallowed by the rain water, with trains and flights also disrupted, and even Manchester City's Champions League clash with Borussia Monchengladbach at the Etihad was postponed owing to the adverse weather conditions.

Met Office meteorologist Mark Wilson said: "There has been a lot of rain in a very short space of time" in the North West - along with "a lot" of thunder and lightning.

He told the Press Association that 32.4mm of rain fell in an hour in Prestbury, calling it "pretty exceptional".

The stormy band is expected to pass into Yorkshire and up to Scotland over the course of the night, losing intensity as it passes.

Heading into Wednesday the Met Office said it will be a drier day across the country, with another warm day expected in the South East - where the mercury could reach into the low 20s or up to 30C (86F).

Before Tuesday's record-breaking high, the last time temperatures soared above 30C (86F) in September was in 2006 in Kew Gardens, which hit 30.5C (87F) on September 11, and the highest September temperature recorded was in 1906 when the mercury hit 35.6C (96.1F) in Bawtry, South Yorkshire.

Forecasters said the last time they saw September yielding the hottest day of the year was in 1991 on September 1 at Heathrow.

Grahame Madge, a Met Office spokesman, said: "Temperatures in the South East have created the warmest September day in the UK since 1911.

"However, not all parts of the UK have been so warm. Parts of Scotland, such as Lossiemouth, and Northern Ireland have struggled to get beyond 14C."

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