Hottest UK day ever predicted as London bakes in heatwave

·3-min read
 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Forecasters have predicted the UK could see its hottest ever day on Tuesday with temperatures potentially hitting 41C.

It comes after Britain saw its third hottest day since records began on Monday after the mercury climbed to 38.1C in Santon Downham, Suffolk.

While it did not quite eclipse the record 38.7C in Cambridge in 2019, forecasters predicted that temperatures could hit a "crazy" 41C in Yorkshire and 40C in London on Tuesday.

The Met Office also warned Britons to expect one of the warmest nights on record overnight with a “tropical night” over 20C.

Met Office meteorologist Luke Miall said that Tuesday's forecast "doesn't seem real", adding: "It's crazy how we are talking about these sorts of values, I've never seen the models coming up with these values.

"It's been quite an eye-opener to climate change with all these temperatures in the UK."

Sweltering temperatures caused disruption to transport services throughout Monday afternoon, while there were warnings of heightened pressure on hospitals as a result of the extreme heat.

But the public appeared to heed warnings to work from home as traffic, train and Tube passengers were down on the previous Monday.

Luton Airport runway was closed while engineers worked to repair a "surface defect", with Sky News reporting that the runway had melted amid soaring temperatures. Flying activity was also halted at RAF Brize Norton.

The UK Health Security Agency has issued a level 4 heat-health alert - described as an "emergency" - and the UK is under its first red extreme heat warning for a large part of England, issued by the Met Office.

Ministers held another emergency Cobra meeting on Monday, though Boris Johnson did not attend.

Health Secretary Steve Barclay said the emergency services had seen an increased volume of calls, but Tuesday afternoon was the "point of maximum concern" as the highest expected point of the heatwave.

The extreme weather also forced the closure of dozens of schools, despite Government advice to stay open. Others cancelled sports days, school trips and relaxed uniform codes.

Wales recorded its highest ever temperature as the mercury hit a sizzling 37.1C in Hawarden, Flintshire.

And in Scotland, highs of 31.3C were reported in Aboyne while Ireland recorded its second highest temperature ever as the mercury reached 33C in Dublin's Phoenix Park.

London Weather: Summer Heatwave 2022

Meanwhile, a 14-year-old boy is believed to have drowned after getting into difficulty in the Thames in Richmond. The teenager is thought to have entered the water at Tagg's Island in Hampton to "cool off" on Monday afternoon.

It followed four other fatalities linked to people swimming in open water during the heatwave.

A 16-year-old boy died earlier on Tuesday after getting into difficulty in Bray Lake, near Maidenhead, in Berkshire.

Experts have warned that the UK must adapt homes, cities and infrastructure for a future of more intense summer heat.

Nick Bowes, chief executive of the Centre for London thinktank, said that the extreme weather seen in the past year shows “just how unprepared London is for the effects of climate change”.

Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, said the capital would need to “adapt” to climate change - but warned that the issue was an “afterthought” for the five candidates running to be Tory leader and Prime Minister.

Elsewhere in Europe, thousands of people were evacuated from their homes in the town of Les Miquelots in southwestern France on Monday as emergency services battled a ferocious wildfire.

A further 3,000 people were evacuated from the town of Pyla-sur-Mer, local authorities said.

Meanwhile, Spain recorded its second fatality in two days as the country battled its own wildfires.

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