Britain swelters in hottest August Bank Holiday ever with 33.3C highs

Sarah Knapton
Lyme Regis in Dorset  - www.alamy.com

Britain’s weather records continued to tumble as the country basked in the hottest August Bank Holiday weekend ever, with temperatures reaching 91.94F (33.3C) at Heathrow.

It beats the previous 2001 record of 88.7F (31.5C) set at the same location in 2001.

The record-breaking temperatures follows last month's heatwave in which Cambridge University recorded 101.7F (38.7C) on July 25th, the hottest day since records began in 1841.

The Met Office could not confirm whether it was the hottest bank holiday ever in Britain, because the dates of observance have changed since they were first brought in under UK’s Bank Holidays Act in 1871.

The Act made Easter Monday, Whit Monday, the first Monday in August and 26 December all holidays, but in 1971 New Year’s Day was added and Whit Monday was fixed to the last Monday in May. 

The August bank holiday also moved from the first Monday of the month to the last and in subsequent years the first Monday in May was added.

Charlotte Earnshaw (9), from Huddersfield, enjoys cooling down in the hot weather at the City Park water pool in the centre of Bradford Credit: Lorne Campbell / Guzelian 

The late summer sunshine is a result of warm air moving northwards from the continent. And comes at the end of a wet and chilly month. 

On Saturday, Gogerddan, near Aberystwyth, recorded 81.3F (27.4C) - a new record for the highest late August holiday weekend temperature in Wales.

Millions attending events such as the Leeds and Reading Festivals and the Notting Hill Carnival in London were warned to drink plenty of water, stay covered and apply sunscreen to avoid dehydration and sunstroke. 

Met Office meteorologist Sarah Kent said: "It is a bank holiday weekend. There is a lot of sunshine about to be had but people need to exercise some common sense."

The Rhyl Air Show was delayed due to the weather, according to North Wales Police.

Denbighshire County Council said that "unexpected sea fog" had hit the event and the visibility levels needed for display flying.

Revellers at the Notting Hill Carnival were urged to drink water  Credit: Mark Thomas Rex

Motorists were urged to take extra care and expect delays as the hot weather made breakdowns more likely.

RAC spokesman Rod Dennis said: "As the temperature rises so can the chances of a breakdown - so it's important drivers check over their vehicle before setting out. Tyre pressure and tread, as well as oil and coolant levels, should all be looked at and doing so can really cut the chances of breaking down.

"Hungry, thirsty or tired passengers can also be recipes for in-car irritability - and 'carguments' - so pack enough food and water to keep your passengers happy, and plan in enough breaks along the way."

A 63-year-old man man died this weekend after swimming at Hell’s Mouth near Gwithian, Cornwall, a section of water known for powerful currents and treacherous rocks.

Record heat coupled with wet weather has created the "perfect" environment for fleas to thrive, according to exterminators Rentokil.

Calls about the unwanted visitors to the pest controllers shot up in July compared to the previous month and with the same period last year. Flea inquiries jumped by 415 per cent from June to July.

Temperatures are expected to rise even further by Monday, breaking the current August Bank Holiday record of 82.76F (28.2C).