THE skies were illuminated with lightning last night as thunderstorms struck south Essex.

The region was hit with torrential rain and thunderstorms over the course of two days prompting the Met Office to issue a blanket yellow weather warning for the East of England.

Thurrock Gazette:

Foster Congrave shared this picture with the Echo Camera Club

Thurrock Gazette:

Sue Elizabeth Ann shared this image with the Echo Camera Club

Thurrock Gazette:

Foster Congrave caught this strike on camera

The weather warning was in place from 6pm yesterday and will last all the way through to 9pm tonight, totalling 27 hours.

Southend photographer Aaron Chesham said the storm made for some spectacular views.

The 21-year-old added: “It was simply breathtaking to watch it all unfold from a close up view.

“To watch it up close and personal was an experience its self as I had never really witnessed a storm like it before especially on the seafront.

“Unfortunately I didn’t have my proper camera but I had my trusty Samsung Galaxy S9 which takes amazing photos.

“There was some thunder but it was in the distance - it was generally just sheer lightning if I’m honest. I went down to seafront roughly 11.45pm to watch it for an hour then it started to rain so headed back in.”

There is expected to be huge disruption for travellers and a risk of flooding in certain places.

Affected areas also include much of the midlands and parts of the north east.

Tom Defty, who runs Essex Weather Centre, tweeted: “There were interesting charts showing up for Tuesday night. There were strong thunderstorms, frequent lightning and hail quite widely across the region.

“The Met Office issued a yellow warning for all districts of Essex for this and further thunderstorms on Wednesday night as well.”

There was a small chance of flash flooding for businesses, with lightening strikes affecting electricity supplies but disruption fortunately did not materialise. The weather today will be fine and dry at first, becoming cloudier with occasional showers developing during the afternoon.

Thurrock Gazette:

Samantha Moorcroft took this photo on Canvey