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Flash, bang, what an impact lightning had on the region

Norfolk experienced thunderstorms overnight. Picture: Stuart Curtis

Norfolk experienced thunderstorms overnight. Picture: Stuart Curtis

Archant

Ah, that’s what woke up so many people across East Anglia!

Lightning over Norwich. Picture: Dan Holly Lightning over Norwich. Picture: Dan Holly

Weather forecasters have revealed there were 26,000 lightning strikes during storms in the region early yesterday which interrupted sleep as well as blocking roads, leaving homes without power and flooded a nursery school.

But how are meteorologists actually able to record the number of bolts travelling at the speed of light?

The lightning is recorded using lightning detectors which are stationed around the country and in Europe. A bolt causes radio waves which are picked up by the detectors.

Although a sensor is able to say when the bolt hit, it can not locate it. To do this meteorologists look at multiple readings and using calculations based 
on how long it took the radio waves to reach the sensor, can pinpoint its location.

Lightning over Norwich. Picture: David Long Lightning over Norwich. Picture: David Long

As well as the lightning, the storms yesterday also brought heavy rain which created some disruption.

Fakenham Infant and Nursery School had to close after the main school building was flooded leaving it with no access to water.

Nar Ouse Way in King’s Lynn was blocked causing traffic delays and Park Lane in Wymondham was flooded.

Further flooding caused minor delays on Dereham Road, Norwich and Burgh Road in Gorleston.

People in Erpingham, near North Walsham, were left without power after damage was caused to overhead power lines.

At one point 118 homes lost power and by 3pm 60 properties were still affected.

A spokesman for UK Power Networks said: “We understand how difficult it is to be without power and apologise for any inconvenience caused.”

After the storms had moved away, the region basked in sun and very warm temperatures.

But there is an unsettled outlook for the rest of this week - and the first weekend of the school holidays.

Adam Dury, of Norwich-based forecaster Weatherquest, said there would be a few heavy showers clearing the region this morning but it will be dry and feel fresher this afternoon.

He added: “Over Thursday night it will remain dry being less muggy with lows of 11-12C. The majority of Friday will remain dry with highs of 22C with rain in the late evening and over night.

“The weekend will be showery, developing throughout Saturday and Sunday, although there will be more showers on Saturday.”

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