THIS dramatic picture shows the moment a lightning storm lit up the skies over Mudeford last weekend.

The spectacular event was captured on camera by Gary Owen on Saturday night and shows fork lightning rippling across the sky at Mudeford Sandbank.

One fork of lightning can be seen coming down beyond local landmark, The Black House.

Gary, who spent around an hour photographing the storm, said: "Preparing to photograph a thunder storm seems to generate more excitement than normal landscapes. It’s the not knowing what you’ll get and the satisfaction of seeing a great result such as this one that gives this style of photography an edge."

Thunderstorms rolled across the county in waves throughout the evening following very warm temperatures last week.

The light show could be seen in Bournemouth, Poole and Swanage with heavy downpours also occurring throughout the night during a unseasonably warm spell.

Highs of 27.3C were recorded in East Dorset last Thursday by Twitter-based weather forecaster, Wessex Weather, which is significantly higher than the monthly average of 14C.

A temperature of 29.1C was recorded at St James’s Park in London the same day, making it the hottest day in April since 1949.