In pictures: Lightning storms hit UK

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Spectacular lightning storms have been seen in UK skies on Thursday night and Friday.

More than 3,000 strikes were recorded in just two hours early on Friday, and many UK people awoke to loud thunder and torrential rain.

Here are some of the images taken of the storms.

Image source, Richard Boll
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The storms arrived on UK shores from the south - and Richard Boll took this photograph of lightning striking the English Channel off Hove in Sussex.
Image source, Sophia McQue
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Lightning also struck the sea behind Brighton Palace Pier, where Sophia McQue captured a series of images.
Image source, Adam Sprague
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Lightning struck numerous locations in the south of England. Adam Sprague took this picture in St Austell, Cornwall.
Image source, Derek Liversidge
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The storms moved north during the night, and Derek Liversidge captured this image at Calne in Wiltshire.
Image source, Steven Shears
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Steven Shears took this picture of the skies over Crawley, West Sussex.
Image source, Chris Stretton
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Chris Stretton captured the moment lightning struck several buildings at once in Gloucester at about 01:45 BST.
Image source, @MPSINTHESKY
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A Metropolitan Police helicopter took this picture as one storm approached London. The helicopter later landed to avoid the severe weather.
Image source, Justin Stokes
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Many people in London took pictures of the lightning. Justin Stokes photographed this dramatic scene over Canary Wharf.
Image source, Ashley Williams
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Ashley Williams took this picture of a lightning strike in Swansea.
Image source, AP
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Players and fans at the Open Championship at the Royal Liverpool Golf Club have been warned about the threat of thunderstorms.