Lightning storm captured on camera

Photograph of forked lightning in Fareham by Jak Gunter

Photograph of forked lightning in Fareham by Jak Gunter

The hustings at Portsmouth College - from left:  David Carpenter (college governor), Gerald Vernon-Jackson (Lib Dems), Ian McCulloch (Green), Steve Fitzgerald (college teacher and chair), Stephen Morgan (Labour), Kevan Chippindall-Higgin (Ukip) and Penny Mordaunt (Cons)   Picture: Heather Eggelton

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A HUGE electrical storm has swept across the Portsmouth area.

Forked lightning lit up the night’s sky and was accompanied by heavy bursts of rain and a deafening roar of thunder.

Many people captured the dramatic moments on their cameras.

Many sat looking out of the windows to watch the drama, which went on for about an hour from about 7.45pm.

Jak Gunter, 45, of Gudge Heath Lane, Fareham, took a spectacular picture of the lightning over the railway line at Fareham.

He was enjoying a dinner party in his conservatory when the electrical storm began.

He took the pictures from the bedroom window.

He said: ‘It was pretty impressive.

‘When I took the picture, it was about four or five miles from us, there wasn’t a great deal of time between the flashes and the thunder afterwards,

‘The kids had gone to bed, but got up to watch it.

‘It was quite a spectacular sight.’

Dan Thornton, 28, from Lees Lane, Gosport, said: ‘I just stuck my head out of the kitchen window and saw massive forked lightning.

‘I grabbed the old camera and started snapping away.

‘Storms in Britain are not usually that good, but it’s been awesome to see this one.

‘I have never seen lightning like that before.’

Lightning is believed to have struck a house in Winters Road, Shirrell Heath, near Wickham, at about 8.20pm.

Four fire engines were called to the house and the fire is being contained to the roof space.

Charles Powell, a forecaster for the Met Office, said a band of unstable air was moving up from the Isle of Wight towards London.

He said: ‘Over Portsmouth was an area called a trough.

‘It’s an area where you have quite concentrated unstable air.

‘There’s a lot of movement in the air, a lot of change in wind direction. It tends to give much more intense rainfall and can lead to some interesting meteorological phenomena.’

He said there was a possibility the freak weather could be linked to the mini-tornado that affected Hayling Island on Sunday.

Mr Powell added: ‘When you get these troughs moving through it can lead to some gusty winds.

‘You can occasionally see tornadoes linked with them. It’s not something we forecast as it’s too difficult to pinpoint.

‘Along the band of showers we have had some strong winds, some getting up to 40mph.’

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