THUNDERSTORMS will bring an end to Britain’s 35C heatwave tonight – with huge hail stones crashing down.
Sudden heavy downpours will batter the South East from this evening while cloud rolls in across much of the country throughout Tuesday.
High temperatures will also drop by at least 10C overnight, signalling a sudden break in Britain’s months-long summer scorcher.
The Met Office today issued a yellow warning for the South East and said “frequent lightning may occur along with heavy rain”.
It added that “large hail and sudden strong gusts of wind” are also likely to high the East of England.
It will make a marked change from the searing heat experienced by many over recent days as the mercury hit the mid-30s across parts of southern and central England.
Yesterday, dad Louis Lambe kept his cool on a roasting beach thanks to a fully-stacked fridge freezer.
Louis, 46, and his family knocked back ice-cold beers from the 6ft cooler powered by his own generator.
They also used a generator to power a barbecue and a boombox — and even took their own dancefloor to Selsey, West Sussex.
Daughter Ellie, 20, said: “It’s the only way to spend time at the beach, especially in a heatwave“.
But there will be little need for such drastic measures from tomorrow as high temperatures dip to the mid-20s.
While still around 4C higher than the average for this time of year, it is a long way off England’s current August record — 38.5C reached in Faversham, Kent, in 2003.
After thunderstorms pass over the South East tonight there will be a mixture of sunshine and showers across the UK on Wednesday.
The North West will see the most rain with heavy showers forecast to bear down on the region tomorrow.
This will continue into Thursday as cooler, fresher and more showery weather becomes the typical scene for much of Britain.
The weather will become even more unsettled later on Friday and into the weekend, with some wet and windy weather likely on Saturday — and temperatures still warm enough to lend a humid feeling.
Forecaster Dean Hall said there will be “quite a marked change to the feel of things” from the middle of the week as conditions turn “fresher and more changeable”.
It is likely to stay cooler throughout next weekend, he said, with “no real sign of any return of the heat that we have been seeing over the recent days”.
Meanwhile, a sweltering European heatwave will continue to see Brit tourists frazzle.
Holidaymakers in Portugal and Spain feeling the brunt of the sun and have been warned to stay in the shade and keep hydrated amid temperatures in the mid-40s.
Last week local records were smashed in eight areas of Portugal — while Lisbon broke a 37-year-old record with thermometers reaching 44C on Sunday.
Red health alerts for extreme heat have been issued for more than half the country as thermometers passed 46C over the weekend.
The UK could still see warmer-than-average temperatures all the way into autumn, according to the Met Office.
Its three-month outlook does not suggest the hot weather will last that long but it may be “warmer than average”, according to forecaster Bonnie Diamond.
It shows an increased chance of high-pressure systems close to the UK — meaning settled conditions are more likely than unsettled weather.
Ms Diamond said: “This means there is an increased likelihood of warmer-than-average temperatures and below-average rainfall.
“It must be noted, however, that this does not necessarily mean temperatures will be hot or that a ‘heatwave will continue’, as above-average temperatures can mean one or two degrees above average, for which August, September and October are 19C, 16C and 13C respectively.
“Further, warmer-than-average temperatures does not necessarily mean sunshine – it can be warm and cloudy too.”