From the BBC
Lightning strikes in several European countries have killed one man and caused serious injuries as summer storms hit across the Continent.
The man was killed in southern Poland as he was hit by lightning while descending a mountain.
Analysis, by Clive Mills-Hicks, Meteorologist, Met Office
The storms developed because a very warm and humid air mass covered mainland north-west Europe at the same time as the air higher up in the atmosphere was becoming colder, creating a very “unstable” atmosphere.
This instability manifested itself in the storms which developed extremely rapidly once the air had warmed up sufficiently.
Over much of the area, the temperature climbed to 25 Celsius, more than enough to trigger the storm clouds. Such storms produce intense rainfall, hail, and numerous lightning strikes and it is typical for them to be at their most widespread and intense in the early afternoon. They are not unusual over the Continent during the summer, although today’s outbreaks were perhaps more widespread than normal.
Further storms are likely over Europe on Sunday: the areas expected to see the storms are southern and eastern Germany, the Czech Republic, and the western half of Poland.
In addition to the widespread nature of Saturday’s storms, the fact that they came at a weekend, and during otherwise fine, warm weather, made it more likely that they would have an impact on people.
Up to a dozen children were struck by lightning in a Paris park today, and 35 were injured after lighting struck a German football pitch as spring storms and severe rain lashed the continent today.
One Paris resident says it was a wild spring storm that sent lightning bolts crashing down onto a Paris park, striking 11 people at a child’s birthday party.
Jean-Louis Laurens, who lives near the city’s Park Monceau, says Saturday that it’s rather rare to see such a storm hitting the French capital like that. He says “it was dramatic.”
[Paris fire service spokesman Eric] Moulin Moulin says six of those struck by lightning are seriously injured, including four children and two adults — and four of them are in life-threatening condition. He says a further five people are slightly injured, including four children and another adult.
He gave the children’s ages as around 9 years old.
Lightning struck a football pitch in western Germany on Saturday, injuring 35 people, three of them seriously, news agency DPA reported.
The accident […] happened at the end of a children’s football match in Hoppstaedten, DPA said, citing police.
The referee of the match was hit directly by the strike and was rushed to hospital. Two other adults also suffered serious injuries.
Thirty children aged between nine and 11 were lightly injured and were taken to hospital for tests, along with two more adults.
According to witnesses, there was no rain and the sky wasn’t dark” when the lightning struck, a police spokesman told DPA.
Weather authorities had issued a storm alert for western and southern Germany on Saturday, warning that the bad weather was due to last the weekend.
Storm Elvira had already hit western Germany on Friday, bringing torrential rain and hail and flooding roads in some areas such as the town of Wiesbaden.
In Rhineland-Palatinate, the state where Hoppstaedten is located, bad weather caused a train to derail but there were no injuries.
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