COOLER temperatures are on the way after a wave of thunderstorms and torrential downpours swept parts of Britain.
Intense storms, including hail and strong winds, brought flash floods across large areas of the UK after temperatures peaked at 31.4C in London Heathrow on Wednesday.
Yorkshire escaped the worst of the storms, but in the Western Isles, 31mm of rain fell in an intense burst in the morning, the Met Office said.
Temperatures are due to drop to between 18C and 26C over the coming days, bringing relief for those struggling in the heat.
Met Office meteorologist Alex Burkhill said: “The highest we have seen is 31.4C at Heathrow, which was not quite as warm as Tuesday but not that far off, it was still quite a warm day.
“Most of the thunder moved through the north of the UK but there is still the potential for more showers to kick off.
“Thursday is not looking bad, there could be some showers dotted here and there and then some more showery rain going into Friday.
“The weekend will not be terrible, although not as hot as it has been - there will be bright and sunny breaks when it will be quite warm.”
Tuesday was the hottest day of the year so far, when the mercury reached a sweltering 33.5C in Brize Norton, Oxfordshire.
The heatwave is feared to have cost several people their lives and led to an outbreak of violence in London.
Jack Pullen, 16, died while playing with friends in the River Etherow near Hyde, Greater Manchester, on Tuesday.
A 46-year-old man died after jumping into a canal in Burton-on-Trent on Monday night.
A body was recovered from Lammas Lake in Wraysbury, Surrey, on Tuesday evening after police received reports of concern for the safety of a man in the water. Officers were uncertain if the death was weather-related but said the man was with a group of people at the time.
Soldier Josh Hoole, from Ecclefechan near Lockerbie in Scotland, died in Brecon while on a training exercise earlier that day.
The 26-year-old member of The Rifles regiment, stationed at Catterick in North Yorkshire, was on pre-course training for the Platoon Sergeants’ Battle Course.
Stifling conditions in London led to an outbreak of disorder at a water fight in Hyde Park as three people, including a police officer, were stabbed, while four officers and a member of the public suffered other injuries.
Thursday’s forecast for Yorkshire
Morning sunny spells will lead into a largely fine day, perhaps giving way to isolated showers during the afternoon. Temperatures should not reach recent highs, but should still reach the low twenties degrees Celsius in places, with light winds throughout.
Showers should die away for a time, however cloud amounts should increase later, eventually giving showery rain in places. Temperatures should remain on the warm side given cloud cover.
A little cloudier than recent days, with a little showery rain possible. Becoming brighter later, with isolated sharp showers and more in the way of sunny spells.
Weekend and Monday
Fresher-feeling than recently, but still warm, with Saturday probably the brighter of the weekend days. An area of rain is then expected to move erratically eastwards, before brightening later Monday.