Stormy end forecast to hottest day
The UK enjoyed its hottest day of the year today - but the good weather is making way for torrential downpours and "severe" thunderstorms across the country.
The mercury hit 26.8C (80.2F) in Kew Gardens in London, the highest temperature recorded this year, the Met Office said.
But a severe weather warning for rain has now been issued for southern England, the Midlands and most of Wales, with "isolated severe thunderstorms" in the East bringing the risk of torrential downpours.
The Met Office said: "Whilst most places will miss the heavier rain, the public should be aware that there is a chance of some very localised significant disruption, mainly from surface water flooding.
"Lightning and hail could also cause some impacts."
Met Office chief forecaster Nick Grahame said: "Thunderstorms bring the potential for 20 to 30 mm falling within an hour or so, probably on a very localised basis and more likely roughly Dorset and Somerset eastwards to Home Counties.
"More persistent rain will give 10-20 mm quite widely over south west England and south Wales with the risk of more than 40 mm locally."
A Met Office spokeswoman said w estern parts of southern England and Wales will see fairly persistent rain through the evening and overnight.
"This will gradually head north to the Midlands and parts of the North West," she said. "Within that, there could be quite heavy bursts at times.
"The south east of England and parts of East Anglia will see more isolated storms. The rain won't be persistent but it could be torrential at times."
A band of rain is forecast across Wales and the Midlands to Humberside tomorrow, she added.
Southern England will remain largely dry but it will feel noticeably cooler than today, with temperatures remaining in the low 20s.
Northern parts of the UK will feel much cooler with the chance of outbreaks of rain, the spokeswoman added.
"Scotland will see a massive drop in temperatures," she said. "From the low 20s today, temperatures could drop by 10 degrees."