Britain was battered with three months' worth of rain yesterday, with some parts suffering the heaviest downpours on record.
The flash floods, hail and electrical storms in the South of England made last week's 31.8C heatwave a distant memory.
And England cricket fans were braced for a severely delayed start to the first Test match of the Ashes in Cardiff against Australia as showers swept across the country.
Torrential downpours forced guests to abandon tables and chairs and head for cover at the Royal Garden Party at Buckingham Palace
Rain brought a stormy interruption to the garden party, forcing party-goers indoors
Those readings are the highest since records began in 1865, and broke the previous Hastings record of 61mm within 24 hours on August 18, 1952.
In London, the Queen was forced to flee as hailstones the size of 20p pieces hit a garden party at Buckingham Palace.
The Queen and Prince Philip shelter from the heavy showers at the first Royal Garden Party
Guests head for cover as heavy rain falls during the first Royal Garden Party of the summer at Buckingham Palace, and right, a humorous take on Wimbledon
But the band of the Welsh Guards determinedly played For Once In My Life by Stevie Wonder.
There was no magic to protect Daniel Radcliffe or Emma Watson from the storm during the premiere of Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince in Leicester Square.
Umbrellas had to do instead, but didn't save Miss Watson from a minor wardrobe malfunction with her damp frock.
In Trafalgar Square, a member of the public posing on the fourth plinth - as part of artist Anthony Gormley's 100-day exhibit in which ordinary people take up position there for an hour at a time - had only a plastic bag for shelter and no one to look at her, as the crowds deserted for drier destinations.
A torrential downpour over the Houses of Parliament drapes the famous building in thick mist
Lightning strikes hit near the Houses of Parliament during the stormThere was chaos for train commuters as heavy downpour forced the closure of the Victoria Tube station affecting the District, Circle and Victoria lines.
Edgware Road and Paddington stations were also closed, which disrupted the Bakerloo, Circle and District lines.
Flooding shut down Hyde Park Corner station, Transport for London confirmed.
The freak storms were caused by cool air moving in from the Atlantic and becoming increasingly unstable as it was heated inland, the Met Office said.
It was this combination of extreme hot and cold that led to torrential rain, hail, thunder and lightning which passed within an hour in most places.
Though the South-East fared worst, parts of the North-West and Midlands did not escape heavy showers.
There was a flood warning along the North Sea coastline around Scarborough, North Yorkshire.
Julie Duffy gets a soaking as she takes her hour on Trafalgar Square's fourth plinth as part of artist Anthony Gormley's 100-day exhibit
Ms Duffy had only a Tesco plastic bag to protect her against the elements
A man cycles through puddles outside the Houses of Parliament
Don't take the car: Vehicles were submerged in Hastings