Yes, it's real. While America was suffering from the severe storm that wrecked the east coast all the way up beyond NYC, I went down to the mouth of the Thames to photograph the views around the Thames Barrier - the massive defensive system built decades ago to defend London from rising sea levels. We need it and, it is regularly deployed, several times a year, to block the incoming waters that would under certain conditions devastate London all the way up to Richmond.
Looking west towards London and the Barrier we were confronted with the sight of this massive rain storm appoaching fast. The grey clouds above us were shedding a surprising amount of light that, unexpededly, illuminated the huge towers of the Canary Wharf financial area. In the left corner of the photo you can see that one of the massive grey walls of the Barrier has actually been raised, although all the other passages remained open.
The photo was taken at about 17.30 hrs. By 18.30 London was once again rejoicing under brilliant blue, rain-washed-clean, sun-blessed skies. Amazing!