LIGHTNING struck an electricity pylon as a large thunderstorm travelled slowly over part of North Yorkshire yesterday evening.

The Met Office has brought forward its yellow weather warning for today after thunderstorms started earlier than it expected. 

Some places could see up to 70 mm of rain failing in an hour, with flash flooding likely to a danger as well as lightning strikes. 

Northern Powergrid reported that there were no power outages in the county this morning.

The electricity pylon, which in the industry is called a transmission tower, and its transformer was close to Selby Road in Escrick when the lightning struck in the early evening.

At the time, a large mass of thunderstorm was travelling north-east from north of Doncaster across Selby.

The cloud area was so great, the fringes could be seen from York.

Here's how it looked from east York in a picture taken by Joanna Krzeczowska.

York Press: Last night's thunderstorm as seen from east YorkLast night's thunderstorm as seen from east York (Image: Joanna Krzeczowska)

The thunderstorm mass did not reach the city, but travelled over Market Weighton and Driffield before heading out to the North Sea.

By the time it had reached Market Weighton, the cloud area was so wide that part of it produced rain in Malton.

After the storm had passed, Acomb firefighters were alerted by a member of the public that the pylon had been struck.  The electrical equipment had been damaged, but the fire was out before the crew arrived.  Northern Power engineers were aware of the incident.

A yellow weather warning of thunderstorms for the whole of North Yorkshire and York was due to come into effect at 2pm.  But now the Met Office has brought it forward to 12.40pm and it is now in effect.  It runs until midnight tonight.

They will be caused by the gradual breakup of the heatwave that has covered the whole country for several days.

The Met Office provisionally declared yesterday the hottest day of the year so far after Heathrow reported a temperature of 32.7C. Later Kew Gardens in London reported a temperature reading of 33.2C.  Experts will now check the recording equipment used to make sure it was correctly calibrated and functioning at the time before confirming the record.  The previous hottest day of the year was Thursday, when a reading of 32.6C was recorded at Wisley in Surrey.