Although the NWP used by the BBC and the Met Office identified the area of thunderstorms over Sussex and Hampshire, they completely failed to pick up the line of thundery showers that developed late this afternoon across Devon Even at 6.30 pm Darren Betts was trying to put a brave face on it and completely ignore reality into the bargain.
The day shift obviously thought that they could get away with it, and then the night shift came on and thought differently, or maybe it was because the latest 18 UTC run had finally got a handle on the likely extent of the thunderstorms.
The model seems to have lost its grip with the extent of these thunderstorms and there doesn't seem to be an easy way to adjust the graphics to reflect what's truly going on across southern and this evening.
It just shows you that you can always rely on observational data when the models gone to pot.
It looks like the main area of thunderstorm activity is across Bournmouth, Southampton and Portsmouth areas at the moment.
EGHH 211850Z 13015KT 1200 +TSRAGS BKN040CB 15/12 Q1015
Then, phase 2, PPN re-started ~2020Z lasting off/on until the early hours of the morning (22nd) but never very heavy and only 2 mm total accumulation; however, from around that time,
very distant lightning seen well to the south, already reasonably frequent (the sort of thing Hollywood directors like to show when the alien spacecraft is about to descend and
scrumble the earthlings!), but by the time the activity reached us around 2300/2300Z (21st), the lightning (CC/IC, very ISOL CG) was near-continuous, and lasted that way
for at least half-hour, only slowly disappearing to the north of us after midnight.
I haven't heard of any damage reports but visually, a truly remarkable event and one we don't often get these days.
" ..... but by the time the activity reached us around 2300/2300Z (21st), the .... "
CORRECTION: 2300/2330Z (21st) etc.
Also, I've since seen that we have a major fire, which the FB are saying /may/ be lightning related, in Bournemouth last night - would have been due to the first of the activity reported,
which is sensible as that generated more CG activity locally than the second/'sheet' episode.