Residents enjoying the summer sunshine had to run for cover – when a sudden storm pelted them with hailstones the size of 50p pieces.
The monstrous ice balls rained down over Kent on Thursday evening after the humid conditions triggered a fierce thunderstorm.
Communications director Christian Ball, 40, caught some of the hailstones as they crashed down over his home in Wateringbury and posted a snapshot to Twitter.
Christian, a communication director, said: “The hail started around 6.30am and was intense for around ten minutes.
“The hail captured was the size of a 50p coin – I was slow getting my phone and surprised at the intensity. Previous hail was possibly bigger, even golf-ball sized.
“The strangest part was before it started, because there was a low continuous rumbling whilst the sky went from blue to grey to dark grey.
“It was one of the strangest weather events I have experienced, albeit short-lived.
“I live in an old weather boarded cottage and the noise was incredible.
“Gutters filled with hail, flash flooding on the road, and some of the loudest thunder I’ve heard.
“Luckily there was no damage to the car and surprisingly my four year-old daughter slept through the whole thing.”
A number of other shocked residents rushed to take pictures of the freak weather with images of the hailstones scattered across gardens.
A Met Office spokeswoman said: “People are always shocked when they hear about hail in summer but actually it’s far more likely in spring and summer than it is in winter.
“This is because hailstones are associated with thunderstorms which come about when it is hot and humid.
“It’s the thundery conditions which allow the hail to fall because they are built in the thunder clouds.
“The hails go up and down in the cloud getting bigger and bigger and the bigger the cloud is the longer they can be held for.
“When the cloud comes over it hits the cold air in the UK, causing instability, and the hailstones are released.
“The Kent area get it a lot because the thunderclouds hit that area first as they move across from the continent.”