Temperatures have breached 40C in the UK for the first time on Tuesday amid the continued heatwave, figures show.
A new provisional UK record temperature has been recorded as 40.3C at Coningsby, in Lincolnshire.
The Met Office earlier revealed that the UK had experienced its warmest night on record on Monday, with temperatures remaining in the mid-20s.
We’re bringing our live blog to an end now. Thanks for joining us on the UK’s hottest day on record. You can scroll down to see what happened and when.
Emergency services across the country have declared major incidents because of the number of fires during the record-breaking heatwave, and are urging people to do more to prevent blazes.
Disposable barbecues, bonfires, cigarettes and broken bottles and glass on the ground are among the main causes of the thousands of grass fires recorded around the UK this summer.
Since the beginning of June, London Fire Brigade has attended more than 1,000 grass fires and fires on open land – and Fire Commissioner Andy Roe on Tuesday wrote to every council in the seeking their support for a temporary ban on disposable barbecues in all public parks and open spaces.
He wrote: “With no end to the hot weather in sight, I am deeply concerned that the unprecedented scale of these fires is set to continue, putting lives at risk as well as devastating green spaces around the capital.”
London's burning: 110 fire engines sent to blazes in Upminster, Wennington, Pinner, Southgate, Croydon, Dagenham, Hendon, Croydon and Eltham as major incident declared pic.twitter.com/Ydzb8eNP1s
— Graeme Demianyk (@GraemeDemianyk) July 19, 2022
A group of people were standing by a roundabout off the A13 with horses on leads as the fire in Wennington spread.
Lizzie Pittman, from Aveley in Essex, who works at some stables by the roundabout, said she was looking after five horses who had been removed from their stables in Wennington, which had burnt down.
She told the PA news agency: “This is your worst nightmare. You can see it getting closer and closer. People are losing their houses but that’s bricks and mortar. People are losing their livestock.”
Local residents could also be heard talking to firefighters about removing other livestock from the path of the fire, with one man directing a horse trailer to pick up some pigs.
In addition to the fire in Wennington, there have been:
30 fire engines dealing with a grass fire on Pea Lane in Upminster
12 fire engines tackling a fire involving garden fencing and trees on Uxbridge Road in Pinner
10 fire engines tackling a restaurant fire on Green Lanes in Southgate
Eight fire engines tackling a grass fire on Oaks Road in Croydon
Eight fire engines tackling a grass fire on Ballards Road in Dagenham
Eight fire engines tackling a fire on The Broadway in Wembley
Six fire engines tackling a grass fire on Sunningfields Crescent in Hendon
Four fire engines tackling a grass fire on Chapel View in Croydon
Four fire engines tackling a fire on Sidcup Road in Eltham
Pictures continue to come in from the fire in Wennington.
Cattle on a Yorkshire farm being sprayed with a fine mist of water as they cool off.
Firefighters have described blazes tearing through homes and buildings in London as “absolute hell” – with residents evacuated, people taken to hospital and a major incident declared.
As temperatures in the capital soared to more than 40C on Tuesday afternoon, “several significant” incidents occurred, with people urged not to have barbecues or bonfires due to the “unprecedented” challenges crews face.
Residents were evacuated from their homes in the village of Wennington, east London, on Tuesday afternoon, where black smoke billowed into the air, while flames destroyed buildings and ravaged nearby fields.
A firefighter at the scene, asked by the PA news agency what conditions were like, replied: “absolute hell”, while those affected by the blaze said it had been spreading “fast”.
Ed Miliband, Labour’s shadow secretary of state for climate change, said that extreme hot weather like this will become the “new normal” under climate change.
He also warned that the Conservative Government has failed to prepare the UK for this type of weather.
“Reports of fires across the country are deeply distressing. We must do everything we can to support the families and communities affected. I urge everyone to stay safe and salute the courage of our fire services,” he said.
“The frightening truth is that in time we will come to see today not as the hottest summer ever but the new normal. Britain is in no way prepared for this new reality because of years of neglect by this Government.
“And while Britain boils, the Conservative leadership candidates engage in fantasy climate denial that will lead to higher energy bills, damage our security, and leaves the burden of extreme weather events to future generations. Britain needs a fresh start.
“Labour will put tackling the climate emergency at the centre of our offer to the British people, in order to create millions of good jobs in the UK’s industrial heartlands, bring down energy bills with home-grown clean power, and protect our children and grandchildren.”
Visitors continued to come to the seaside town of Portrush on Northern Ireland’s north coast on Tuesday despite rain showers bringing the heatwave to an abrupt end.
Nine of the UK’s 12 hottest days on record since 1884 have occurred within the last two decades.
Tuesday’s provisional record high at Coningsby in Lincolnshire of 40.3C means that four of the top five hottest days have taken place between 2019 and 2022.
Only one of top 12 hottest days took place before 1990.
Met Office figures show that spikes in the UK’s daily maximum temperature are becoming both more frequent and more recent.
A similar trend is evident in figures showing the UK’s annual average maximum temperature.
More pictures of the fire in Wennington – and its aftermath – have come in.
Around 100 firefighters tackled the blaze in the village of Wennington, east London, on Tuesday afternoon, with television footage showing black smoke billowing into the air, with buildings and fields on fire.
Nigel Arnell, Professor of Climate Change Science, University of Reading, said the hot, dry and windy conditions meant the smallest spark could set off a fire.
Heavily-dressed ceremonial guards were withdrawn from their positions for a number of hours in the sweltering heat as temperatures topped 40C.
Soldiers, who wear a uniform including bearskin hats, were allowed to shelter from the sun in the hottest period on Tuesday.
The Ministry of Defence said the guards stationed at the Tower of London, Buckingham Palace, St James’s Palace and Windsor Castle were withdrawn at noon “given the extreme temperature” but remained on duty in the Royal Guardrooms to act in support of police if required.
Members of the Household Cavalry used electric fans to help them cope with the baking temperatures in London.
Troops were spotted looking red in the face and sweating while standing watch in their heavy ceremonial uniforms and helmets at Horse Guards Parade in Westminster.
The five hottest UK days on record have all come in the past 20 years.
The warmest was today.
The Prime Minister has paid tribute to firefighters and frontline workers.
Boris Johnson tweeted: “My thanks go to all the firefighters and frontline services who are working incredibly hard to keep us safe on this scorching day.
“I urge everyone to continue to follow the advice from emergency services – including @LondonFire as they respond to incidents.”
My thanks go to all the firefighters and frontline services who are working incredibly hard to keep us safe on this scorching day. I urge everyone to continue to follow the advice from emergency services – including @LondonFire as they respond to incidents.
— Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson) July 19, 2022
It’s not just runways and roads melting in this heat, it’s our hearts too. This adorable little fella has been rescued by London Wildlife Protection:
This Wren fledgling was rescued by our volunteer – Ruhee 💚 #BirdTwitter #heatwave despite the severe shortage of volunteers we are doing our best , please be patient with us 🙏💚 pic.twitter.com/5uf5mrl9Gz
— London Wildlife Protection (@LWP_BirdRescue) July 19, 2022
🌡️ Charterhall in the Scottish Borders has provisionally set a new maximum temperature record for #Scotland today
— Met Office (@metoffice) July 19, 2022
BREAKING: Scotland has experienced its hottest day on record, with the temperature reaching 34.8C in Charterhall in the Scottish Borders, according to provisional Met Office figures.
The Met Office said the highest provisional temperature recorded in Wales so far on Tuesday was 36.2C at Hawarden Airport, while in Scotland, Eskdalemuir saw highs of 32.3C and Murlough in Northern Ireland reached 26.6C.
But forecasters said these temperatures, some of which were recorded on Tuesday morning, could rise further through the afternoon.
At least 29 observation sites across England have provisionally broken the previous all time maximum UK record of 38.7 °C this afternoon
— Met Office (@metoffice) July 19, 2022
Leicestershire Fire and Rescue have also declared a major incident:
🔥We have declared a major incident due to high demand across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland🔥 We will not be attending Automatic Fire alarms. Please only call us if it’s an emergency📞 pic.twitter.com/AGTWJHbNwL
— Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service (@LeicsFireRescue) July 19, 2022
BREAKING – A new provisional UK record temperature has been recorded as 40.3C at Coningsby, in Lincolnshire, the Met Office said.
The body of a teenage boy was recovered from the River Thames in Richmond, west London, at around 3.30pm on Tuesday, the Metropolitan Police said.
The force said it is believed to be that of a teenage boy who was seen to enter the water on Monday afternoon.
“His next of kin are aware and are being supported by specialist officers. Officers will assist with preparing a report for the coroner.”
A fresh warning from the NHS to be wary of the signs of heat exhaustion:
During hot weather, it's important to look out for symptoms of heat exhaustion.
— NHS England (@NHSEngland) July 19, 2022
London Fire Brigade had declared a major incident amid a “huge surge” in blazes during the record temperatures.
Network Rail said passenger numbers today were around 40% lower than during the same day last week.
There is a lineside fire in Harrow, north-west London.
Overhead electric wires are down in Rugby, Birmingham and Carlisle, leading to a number of trains being trapped.
Emergency evacuations of passengers are ongoing.
A Met Office expert has said temperatures of 40C in the UK would be “virtually impossible” without climate change.
Professor Stephen Belcher said: “I wasn’t expecting to see this in my career, but the UK has just exceeded 40C for the first time.”
The Met Office chief scientist said research had showed that “it’s virtually impossible for the UK to experience 40C in an undisrupted climate, but climate change driven by greenhouse gases has made these extreme temperatures possible, and we’re actually seeing this possibility now”.
— Met Office (@metoffice) July 19, 2022
The Met Office said: “Temperatures have now risen above 40C at a number of UK sites, however fresher conditions are now arriving across the far west of the country.”
At 3pm, Coningsby, in Lincolnshire, had equalled the 40.2C seen at Heathrow.
The temperature at Kew Gardens, in south-west London, had risen to 40.1C.
Residents have spoken of “unbearable” heat in the first village to break the national temperature record in the current heatwave last week.
The small village of Charlwood, in Surrey, recorded a temperature of 39.1C on Friday morning, making it the first to break the previous record of 38.7C, set in Cambridgeshire in 2019.
One resident, Mazie Alden, 25, who runs the Half Moon pub with her father and his partner, said: “We’ve found it unbearable but we’re coping. We’ve got fans going and cold water so we’re trying our best at the pub with our staff as well.
“We’ve had a few customers that are sitting in the pub because obviously the fans are on and then we’ve got the crazy couple that are just sitting outside in the sun, which I don’t know how they’re doing that.”
We have declared a major incident as firefighters battle several significant fires across the capital during today’s record-breaking heatwave. For the latest on those, follow this account @londonfire https://t.co/1ThCGrc33K pic.twitter.com/Tp4J0l2Zkr
— London Fire Brigade (@LondonFire) July 19, 2022
Extra police patrols will be brought in at a Lancashire quarry following reports more than 400 people gathered there on Monday.
A Lancashire Police spokesman said the patrols would be at Jamestone Quarry in Haslingden on Tuesday, along with Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service officers who would be diverting people away and giving water safety messaging.
Sergeant Craig Leech said: “We know that people may not agree with us, but two teenagers have died in the North West in the last two weeks.
“One dip in the water could cost you, or your child, their life and it is not worth it.”