SCOTLAND scorched in stunning sunshine on Friday as the hottest heatwave to hit the UK sent temperatures soaring.
But the thunderstorms which have so far affected large parts of England are expected to move north and cause torrential downpours in parts of Scotland at the weekend.
Drumnadrochit, on the shores of Loch Ness, just south of Inverness, recorded the hottest temperature in Scotland, hitting the mercury at 26.2C.
The Highlands and Islands benefited from the best weather north of the border, with Kinlochewe, Aultbea and Skye all recording between 23 and 24C.
Drumnadrochit just fell short of the hottest day of the year, which was recorded at 27C in Coupar.
Gravesend, in Kent, enjoyed being the hottest place in the UK, with a temperature of 32.3C.
Dan Williams from the Met Office said: “London and the south-east of England enjoyed the warmest of the weather, although they also suffered from thunderstorms overnight.
“The scattered showers will continue and cross over into southern and western Scotland into Saturday.
“It will still be a warm day, with temperatures reaching 22C.”
The south-eastern quarter of England was very humid and hot, with temperatures reaching 32C in places, beating Thursday’s high of 29.2C.
Torrential downpours and storms are forecast to bring an end to the sunbathing south of the border, with warnings of flash flooding for some parts of the country.
The Met Office issued an amber warning of rain for England and east Wales for last night through to Saturday.
It said: “Several areas of heavy, thundery showers will develop over England and Wales from Friday night before moving northwards during Saturday.
“Not everywhere within the warning area will see thunderstorms, and indeed some spells of warm sunshine are expected at times, but where thunderstorms do form, some torrential downpours are likely with frequent lightning, large hail and locally strong gusts.
“Significant flooding is possible where these do occur from surface water as well as from small, fast-responding watercourses. The public should be prepared for the risk of disruption from any of these elements.”
The Environment Agency warned 30mm of rain could fall in an hour in some areas during the torrential downpours, increasing the risk of localised and flash flooding.
Environment Minister Dan Rogerson said the EA was working closely with local authorities to prepare for any localised flooding.
He said: “Our priority is public safety. I urge people to be prepared and act on the advice from the Environment Agency and local emergency services.”
John Curtin, director of incident management at the Environment Agency, said: “Intense heavy rainfall this weekend brings a surface water flood risk for England throughout the weekend. Flooding can happen very quickly and the public are urged to keep checking local weather forecasts and the Environment Agency website for information on a regular basis.
“We will continue to monitor the situation closely and support local authorities, who will respond to any reports of surface water flooding. We will also continue to monitor river levels closely and issue warnings where flooding is likely.”
It comes after storms hit part of the country on Thursday night and on Friday morning.
One woman had a lucky escape after lightning struck a few feet from where she was filming the storm from her bedroom window in the early hours.
Susannah Ford-Crush said her skin was left tingling after the strike, which hit scaffolding on a house next door around 3am.
The 34-year-old photographer, from Tunbridge Wells, Kent, said: “I couldn’t sleep because of the storm so I decided to video it on my phone.
“There’s some scaffolding on the house next to me and the lightning came down one of the poles and I got an indirect hit.
“It was a weird sensation. It knocked me back onto my bed and I felt a light burning sensation up my arm.”
The lightning struck more than 3,000 times in two hours in the UK.