rits baffled as ‘golfball’ sized hailstones batter Essex in middle of heatwave

A dramatic video shows the moment a thunderstorm sent hailstones raining down on a garden in Essex while the UK remained in the grips of a heatwave.

In the clip, recorded on Tuesday (July 20) a homeowner shelters next to their back door and records the hail hammering down onto their lawn.

Despite Essex reaching temperatures of 28C in the afternoon, the hail is so large it settles on the ground.

The giant lumps of ice rocket off the window panes as the storm unleashes its full force in just a matter of minutes.

Paul, who filmed the footage and shared it via his Twitter page, joked in the caption: "Just a slight hail in the air!"

London Heathrow recorded the highest temperature of the year, with the mercury hitting 32C.

But it was reported a rare supercell thunderstorm had caused the freak weather in some parts of Essex.

Supercell thunderstorms are more common in Texas and Oklahoma and are known to give rise to tornados and giant hailstones.

Many people shared their experiences on Twitter, with one person writing: "Also we haven't had flooding but had nearly 30c to heavy hail in the snap of your fingers. This was in Essex."

A second tweeted: "I saw there was a crazy storm in Essex. Golf ball size hail."

Someone else commented: "Essex, nr Stansted airport…hail the size of golf balls!"

Another user shared a photo of a collection of hailstones they found outside and put them next to a 2p coin to show how they dwarfed it in size.

Meteorologist Dan Holley, who works for Weatherquest, tweeted: "Chased a likely supercell thunderstorm in west Essex this afternoon – some impressive structure (for UK standards) and incredible rain rates at times.

"This storm produced hail >3cm in diameter, as shown here in Thaxted."

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