FLASH flood warnings are in force with thunderstorms and torrential rain to batter the UK this weekend after the country baked in the hottest July day ever.
The Met Office has warned that homes and businesses could be flooded over the next two days as the heatwave makes way for a deluge across the UK.
The flash floods could cause traffic chaos and damage to properties during the wet weekend to follow.
Heavy rainfall is expected to move erratically across the south-east and north-west of the UK this weekend and the Met Office has issued yellow warnings.
Experts are giving advice on how to protect properties from flooding, as the downpour is set to impact a large part of the country.
Up to 100mm of rain is set to fall in some places across the weekend.
It came after the mercury hit a scorching 38.1C (100.58F) in Cambridge on Thursday.
This was only the second time temperatures over 100F have been recorded in the UK.
The current all-time UK record of 38.5C (101.3F), which was set in 2003, was narrowly missed.
Brits woke up to torrential rain this morning after lightning storms overnight brought an end to the heatwave.
Temperatures will drop slightly today – but it will still feel warm and humid at 26C in London and 31C in Norwich.
Showers are also expected to sweep across south Wales and southern England before spreading towards the northeast.
Outbreaks of heavy rain will continue across northern, eastern and some central parts overnight, where it will remain humid.
Last night, parts of the north east were battered by heavy rain and temperatures will continue to drop over the weekend.
There will also be “heavy, thundery rain” on both Saturday and Sunday – with flooding and lightning expected to cause train and bus cancellations.
The Met Office has issued another yellow ‘severe’ weather warning for rain on Saturday and Sunday.
The Met Office warned: “Where flooding or lightning strikes occur, there is a chance of delays and some cancellations to train and bus services.
“There is a chance that power cuts could occur and other services to some homes and businesses could be lost.”
A spokesman added: “Friday will be another hot day in the far east, otherwise a fresher day with outbreaks of thundery rain across northern, central and eastern areas. Sunny spells in the west with isolated showers.
Where flooding or lightning strikes occur, there is a chance of delays and some cancellations to train and bus services.
“Over the weekend it will be humid in the north and east with heavy, thundery rain through the weekend.”
The fresh warning comes just hours after thousands of commuters endured a journey home from hell as the rail network went into total meltdown after trains were forced to slow down in the heat.
Passengers were left stranded at London Euston and King’s Cross while hundreds were evacuated from a train in West Hampstead after damaged electrical cables caused a grass fire by the track.
At London Waterloo, commuters were forced to sit on trains – some without air conditioning – after a man caused sprinted down the tracks when his dog ran off.
Earlier on Thursday, the mercury hit 38C and passengers had to be rescued by rail workers at Euston after the line was down.
Network Rail announced that speed restrictions were put in place amid fears that tracks could buckle in the heat if trains travel too fast.
Former Manchester United and Aston Villa footballer Dion Dublin shared a picture of the chaos at Euston after the station put out a “major disruption” alert.
London Northwestern Railway and West Midlands Railway advised passengers not to start new journeys as high temperatures are disrupting its services.
Yesterday, pavements were melting in what has been dubbed “Furnace Thursday”.
Tickets dated for Thursday will be accepted for travel on today.
The current record of 38.5C was set in Faversham, Kent, back in August 2003. Yesterday, 38.1C was recorded in Cambridge.
The previous hottest July day was recorded in July 2015 with a temperature of 36.7C, however, the weather yesterday topped that by nearly two degrees.