The UK saw its hottest day of the year so far on Monday as temperatures soared to 38.1C - though the mercury failed to rise above the record of 38.7C.
Forecasters said that the record was likely to be broken on Tuesday, with highs of 41C expected in England.
Wales, meanwhile, recorded its highest ever temperature as the mercury hit a sizzling 37.1C in Hawarden, Flintshire. In Scotland, highs of 31.3C were reported in Aboyne.
Temperatures reached 38.1C at Santon Downham, Norfolk at 4pm today - the third hottest day ever - but not quite eclipsing the 38.7C recorded in Cambridge in July 2019.
At 3pm, Kew Gardens recorded a high of 37.5C.
Met Office meteorologist Luke Miall warned that Tuesday would see even higher temperatures across the country, with the mercury likely to surpass 40C in London and 41C in the south of England.
He said: “I’ve been a qualified meteorologist for 10 years, and telling people about 41C in the UK doesn’t seem real.
“It’s crazy how we are talking about these sorts of values, I’ve never seen the models coming up with these values.”
The Met Office is also warning that temperatures overnight into Tuesday are holding up in the low 20s and possible mid-20s in isolated places, and it looks likely to be the warmest night on record in the UK.
Meanwhile, a third emergency Cobra meeting about the heatwave took place on Monday, though the Prime Minister did not attend.
Downing Street said the NHS is “coping well” with the extreme heat, and no deaths have been reported centrally at this stage.
Commuters in London were urged not to travel during the sweltering temperatures, while health secretary Steve Barclay said the NHS had seen an uptick in 999 calls.
TfL runs reduced service over heat
06:53 , Josh Salisbury
Good morning and welcome to our live coverage of the start of what is set to be a record-breaking heatwave.
TfL is running a reduced service across most of its lines due to the heat, with only a handful of lines running a good service.
The Hammersmith and City was suspended on Monday morning, while the Metropolitan and London Overground was also partially suspended.
The Bakerloo, Central, Circle, District, Jubilee, Piccadilly and Northern lines were also running a reduced service due to the heat.
The Victoria, Waterloo & City and Elizabeth were all running a good service, as was the tram and DLR.
TfL has advised that commuters only travel if necessary, as have train companies, amid fears that the heat could lead to widespread cancellations and disruption.
London set to be one of hottest places in the world today
06:57 , Josh Salisbury
The heatwave could mean London is one of the hottest places in the entire world today with highs of above that of the Caribbean or Western Sahara.
The capital is forecast to be hotter than Dakhla in Western Sahara (24C), Nassau in the Bahamas (32C), Kingston in Jamaica (33C), Malaga in Spain (28C) and Athens in Greece (35C).
Forecasters predict it could get as high as 38C in London, close to the current heat record of 38.7C, in Cambridge in 2019.
Network Rail: Only travel ‘if necessary’ due to heat
07:11 , Josh Salisbury
Alongside TfL, train companies have warned of disruption to services because of the heat.
Network Rail has advised that passengers should only travel if absolutely necessary on Monday and Tuesday over the heat, warning there will be “delays, cancellations and last-minute changes” due to the unprecedented heat.
“Hot weather can affect the rails, overhead power lines and the ground which the track sits on,” it said.
Train company LNER has confirmed that no trains will run on Tuesday between York / Leeds and London Kings Cross over the heat, which is expected to set a record.
It has also advised that while trains are running on the route on Monday, there could be disruptions.
Vets issue advice on how to keep pets cool
07:27 , Josh Salisbury
Vets have issued advice on how to make sure your pets stay cool during the heatwave.
The animal charity PDSA advises that the biggest cause of heatstroke in pets is exercise when it’s too hot - so if in doubt, don’t go out.
“It is important to be aware that flat-faced breeds like Bulldogs, Pugs, and Shih Tzus are at even higher risk, as they can’t cool down as effectively when they pant due to the reduced space in their noses,” PDSA Vet Nurse, Shauna Spooner said.
If you are going out with your pet, make sure to provide plenty of shade and water, said Ms Spooner. Avoiding heat traps will also help, and never leave your pet in an unventilated spaces, such as cars, vans, tents, caravans, or sheds.
She added that make sure pets do not have excessively long coats or are not too overweight would also help.
Met Office: Monday night will be ‘oppressive’ and difficult to sleep in
07:30 , Josh Salisbury
Chief meteorologist at the Met Office Paul Davies warned Monday night will be "very oppressive" and it will be difficult to sleep in the heat.
The top forecaster said he was "really concerned" about the UK hitting 40 or 41C on Tuesday.
He told Sky News: “Tonight will be very oppressive, I mean it's actually difficult sleeping conditions.
“And tomorrow is the day where we are really concerned about a good chance now of hitting 40 or 41C, and with that all the health conditions that come with those higher temperatures."
Brutal heat could be ‘commonplace’ by end of century - Met Office
07:35 , Josh Salisbury
Chief meteorologist at the Met Office Paul Davies warned the rise in temperature is "entirely consistent" with climate change and said the "brutality" of the heat could become commonplace by the end of the century.
Mr Davies told Sky News the weather charts he had seen on Monday were "astounding" and unlike any he had observed throughout his 30-year career.
"This is entirely consistent with climate change. To get 40 degrees in the UK we need that additional boost from human-induced climate," he said.
"Well, I've been a meteorologist for about 30 years and I've never seen the charts I've seen today. And the speed at which we are seeing these exceptionally high temperatures is broadly in line with what we were saying but to be honest, as a meteorologist, to see the brutality of the heat we're expecting tomorrow, is quite astounding.
"And it does worry me a lot and my colleagues here at the Met Office that this sort of unprecedented heat could become a regular occurrence by the end of the century."
‘Take precautions and look after vulnerable’ says government minister
07:40 , Josh Salisbury
A government minister has urged people to take precautions to cope with the extreme heat.
“Our advice is broadly that people for themselves is to be sensible, drink lots of water, stay in the shade,” said Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, Kit Malthouse.
“We’ve got a hot 48 hours coming but also be very aware of those vulnerable groups who we think are most likely to succumb to the heat.
“That’s the very young, but also the elderly, often living alone, who may struggle in the heat”.
Mr Malthouse said that the government had put in place extra measures, including extra 999 staff, “to get everyone stood up and ready” for the heat.
Minister defends Boris Johnson for not attending heatwave meeting
07:47 , Josh Salisbury
A government minister has defended Boris Johnson for not attending an emergency COBRA meeting on the heatwave after he was pictured reportedly having a gathering at Chequers.
Appearing on Sky News, Kit Malthouse, the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, accepted Boris Johnson was not at the meeting, but that he had briefed him on the meeting afterwards.
Pressed on whether Boris Johson should have been at the meeting personally, Mr Malthouse said: “The prime minister has to deal with lots of things on a daily basis, that’s why he appoints secretaries of state to deal with those issues.”
“We’re well co-ordinated, we’re stood up, we’re facing a difficult 48 hours possibly but we hope and expect that people understand it’s going to be very hot, they’ll look after the vulnerable and adapt their behaviour so we can all get through it safely”.
Pictured: Commuters brave heat to go into office
07:58 , Josh Salisbury
Many commuters are still braving the extreme heat to go into the office, with officials advising travel only if it is necessary and for commuters to consider working from home.
Thames Water urges Londoners to use water ‘very very carefully’
08:04 , Josh Salisbury
Thames Water has urged people to use water “very very carefully”, saying a lack of winter rainfall meant we are in a “tough place to start”.
Water demand reduction manager Andrew Tucker told BBC Radio 4's Today Programme: "We didn't have the winter rain we wanted, so nine of the past 11 months have been significantly below average rainfall, so it's a tough place to start. But with everyone playing their bit, we'll get through this."
Mr Tucker added: "It becomes more difficult month on month, that I guess the peak demand at the moment is extraordinary, there's no doubt about that.
"Once we fall back into a normal routine and we understand what customers are doing in homes and businesses just as a normal weather situation, we'll be in a better position to say how we're going to stand for the rest of the rest of the year.
"But we would certainly like rainfall but it's those little things that people do in the backyards at the moment, those back gardens that really make a difference.
"So our call is basically 'stay hydrated, look after your health, but please use water very very carefully and don't waste it'.
Headteachers ‘know best’ on school closures, says deputy chief medical officer
08:08 , Josh Salisbury
The deputy chief medical officer Thomas Waite has said “headteachers know their building best” when asked if schools should close.
Dr Waite told ITV’s GMB there was no "one size fits all" for schools and that some would be easier to keep cooler than others.
"Headteachers know their buildings best and obviously some buildings are easier to keep cool than others. And for many children actually it might be cooler and easier to get out and keep yourself sort of well hydrated and in the fresh air," he said.
"If you're going to school, there isn't really a one size fits all as there isn't for any building. We're very grateful to the headteachers and headmaster you have on this programme earlier on for the steps they're taking to keep children safe."
He added there was “no single answer" to the question of an appropriate temperature for a working environment.
Dr Waite said it was more important for people to "adapt their behaviour" to hotter weather, for example by taking more breaks and keeping hydrated.
Most people will not get into difficulty during heatwave, says medical officer
08:15 , Josh Salisbury
Deputy chief medical officer Thomas Waite has also added most healthy people will not run into difficulty during the heatwave.
Dr Waite was asked about comments made by chief executive of the College of Paramedics Tracy Nicholls about the country not being prepared for the high temperatures in contrast to the message from Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab that Britons should "enjoy the sunshine".
Speaking on GMB, Dr Waite said: "Most people who are in good health won't run into difficulty if they're taking precautions, that they're keeping hydrated and they're keeping cool.
"Some people, particularly older people, or those who have existing cardiovascular illnesses and also very young children and babies are less able to regulate their heat.
"So this couple of days, looking out for one another is a really helpful thing to do and making sure that in the longer term that we think about how we prepare for these kind of summers."
Where can I keep cool in London?
08:52 , Josh Salisbury
City Hall has released a map of locations where Londoners can keep cool during the heatwave,
The Cool Spaces map includes indoor spaces and outdoor areas which provide respite from the heat, such as public buildings with air conditioning and shaded areas.
The map is live from 1 June 2022 until September 15, the same period in which the NHS and UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) has heatwave guidance for.
Medical officer lists tell-tale signs of heat exhaustion
08:56 , Josh Salisbury
England’s deputy chief medical officer Thomas Waite listed some of the tell-tale signs of heat exhaustion and what can be done to treat the condition.
Dr Waite told GMB: “That combination of fluid loss through sweating and through that hard work through your heart pumping, getting more blood to your skin can lead to a range of symptoms, so you can get sweaty, really quite excessive sweating, cramps, nausea and vomiting and dizziness.
“That's a set of symptoms called heat exhaustion that's really quite easily treated.
“If you see somebody who's experiencing those symptoms, get them into the cool, get them into the shade, give them some fluid to rehydrate, it can be water, it can be sports drinks or rehydration fluids, and most people will make a good recovery in about 30 minutes or so."
Met Office hit back at social media ‘misinformation’ over weather maps
09:09 , Josh Salisbury
A Met Office meterologist has hit out at “misinformed comparisons of weather maps” on social media.
Some weather maps have been shared online to suggest that weather maps commonly used by the Met Office have been redesigned to “look like fear and destruction” with temperatures potentially hitting 40C.
“We changed the temperature colours to make the maps easier for people who are colourblind like me,” said meteorologist Aidan McGivern.
“That’s it, no conspiracy.”
He added: “When we designed the new colours, in Autumn 2021, only parts of the Middle East and North Africa were >39 C
“I thought these temperatures would turn up occasionally in Spain in the summer. I never expected them to appear on UK maps”.
There have been some misinformed comparisons of weather maps being shared on social media over the last few days, our Presenter and Meteorologist @aidanweather gets straight to the point with the facts 👇 https://t.co/Ajjx60dCHi
— Met Office News (@metofficenews) July 18, 2022
Journey times could double for train passengers amid ongoing disruption
09:15 , Josh Salisbury
Speed restrictions imposed on trains amid fears of rails buckling in the heat could more than double journey times for passengers, Network Rail has said.
Spokesman Kevin Groves told Sky News that trips which typically take two hours could take ”more than four hours" as emergency measures have been brought in to prevent trains derailing from rails buckling in the heat.
”Certainly later on today that (buckling) is a strong possibility, which is why, from about midday today through till 8pm tonight, there will be large swathes of England and Wales that will have emergency heat-related speed restrictions placed on the rail network," he said.
Mr Groves promised refunds to any passengers who booked journeys on Monday and Tuesday who rearrange travel for later in the week.
"Our advice to passengers if they can, today and tomorrow, is only travel if it's really necessary; otherwise try and shift your arrangements to later in the week and you'll get a full refund," he said.
What are the hottest days on record?
09:28 , Josh Salisbury
Nine of the ten hottest days on record in the UK have happened since 1990.
Here are the records to date:
We may well see hottest day in UK history today, says Met Office
09:31 , Josh Salisbury
The chief executive of the Met Office has confirmed “we may well see the hottest day in the UK in history" on Monday, but Tuesday is expected to be even hotter, with some forecasts estimating highs of 43C.
Professor Penelope Endersby told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: “We think today we may well see the hottest day in the UK in history, with the hottest temperatures in the South East, but actually the highest temperatures we expect tomorrow, and those temperatures will be further north as that warm air pushes north.
“So it's tomorrow that we're really seeing the higher chance of 40 degrees and temperatures above that.
“Even possibly above that... 41 isn't off the cards. We've even got some 43s in the model but we're hoping it won't be as high as that."
She added that such extreme temperatures are not expected beyond Tuesday, but that the Met Office will then be monitoring the possibility of drought in the coming months.
“Well, we certainly don't see these very hot temperatures persisting past Tuesday, so we're expecting a big drop in temperature, mercifully, overnight into Wednesday - down 10 or 12 degrees on what it has been the days before," she said.
Public need to take heat warning seriously - Met Office chief
09:39 , Josh Salisbury
The public should take Met Office heat warnings as seriously as those about snow or wind, because the extreme heat could cause thousands of excess deaths, its chief executive has said.
Professor Penelope Endersby told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: ”Our warnings are always impact-based, so, when we put out warnings, if they're red, that means there's a danger to life and we're expecting major infrastructure impacts, and that's true, whether it's snow, wind, rain, and it's true of this heat warning.
“We're certainly seeing people reacting a little bit differently to the heat warnings as though they think that maybe we shouldn't be telling them to worry about heat the way we tell them to worry about storm or wind."
She added: "These temperatures are unprecedented in the UK and we're not used to dealing with them.”
Pictured: Swimmers take dip to beat the heat as temperatures soar
10:08 , Josh Salisbury
Some of the capital’s residents have taken to having a dip to beat the heat.
Tube lines hit with suspensions and severe delays over heat
10:20 , Josh Salisbury
Several tube lines are experiencing severe delays amid the heatwave, with TfL urging customers to only travel if necessary.
The Bakerloo has severe delays between Queen's Park and Harrow & Wealdstone due to the heat, while the Central and District are both severely delayed across the whole of the line.
The Hammersmith and City is suspended across the whole line because of the heat, while the Metropolitan line is also part suspended between Baker Street to Aldgate for the same reason and has severe delays.
The Jubilee, Elizabeth, Piccadilly, and London Overground are all operating with minor delays, although the Overground is part suspended between Romford and Upminster and between Willesden Junction and Richmond.
All other lines are operating a good service.
Some London schools close because of heatwave
10:33 , Josh Salisbury
Some London schools have rejected Government advice to remain open during the heatwave and told pupils to stay at home.
Some headteachers have said it would be “dangerous” for students to travel in for classes. Among them was Connaught School for Girls in Leytonstone, which moved lessons online for two days.
Headteacher Avani Higgins said: “The temperature is now reported to be at 35 degrees by lunchtime. This will mean that students and staff will have to travel in extreme heat, which is potentially dangerous.”
The Cygnus Academies Trust shut its eight schools in Bexley, Brent and Kent for two days in a decision it said was not “taken lightly”.
Government ministers have said they expect schools to remain open during the heatwave but that it was up to headteachers to make a call based on the specific circumstances of the school.
Read our full story here.
Police searching for missing boy, 13, find body in river
10:40 , Josh Salisbury
Officers searching for a missing 13-year-old who got into trouble in a river near Ovingham, Northumberland, have found a body, police said.
Northumbria Police said: “Sadly, a body has since been found in the water. Formal ID has yet to take place but we believe it to be the missing boy.
"This is a tragic update that we hoped we'd never have to give. His family are being supported by officers & our thoughts are with them at this awful time."
Temperatures above 30C recorded at 10am
11:07 , Josh Salisbury
The heatwave has caused temperatures to rapidly rise across the country, with temperatures of higher than 30C recorded as of 10am this morning.
The highest temperature was recorded in Wisley in Surrey of 30.2C, with temperatures set to rise yet further.
At Heathrow, west London, the thermometer hit 29.4C as of 10am.
— Met Office (@metoffice) July 18, 2022
Water supplier urges avoiding ‘non essential’ water use over low pressure
11:18 , Josh Salisbury
A water provider which supplies some customers in London has urged people to avoid “non-essential” water use.
Affinity Water said “urgent action” was needed in areas of Essex and Hertfordshire to “conserve reservoir supplies for everyone”.
Areas of north London are also affected, as are some areas of Buckinghamshire and Surrey.
Thames Water has also urged its customers to be “very very careful” about their water use amid the heatwave.
Queen’s Guards swelter in traditional bearskin hats
11:29 , Josh Salisbury
Among those feeling the heat in London are the Queen’s Guard who are stationed outside Buckingham Palace wearing traditional bearskin hats.
The temperature outside Buckingham Palace is estimated to be around 34C by noon.
Dog left in car as temperatures outside climbed to 31.5C say police
11:50 , Josh Salisbury
Police officers were forced to smash a car window to rescue a dog with temperatures of over 30C.
Officers said they were forced to make the rescue at the RAF Museum in Hendon on Monday, while temperatures outside were 31.5.
“Unbelievably, our officers have just had to smash the window of a vehicle to get a dog out at the RAF museum Hendon. 31.5 degrees! JUST DON”T TAKE DOGS OUT IN THIS HEAT,” said Barnet Police on social media.
The RSPCA advises pet owners never to leave their dogs in a car during hot weather.
Unbelievably, our officers have just had to smash the window of a vehicle to get a dog out at the RAF museum Hendon. 31.5 degrees! JUST DON”T TAKE DOGS OUT IN THIS HEAT.
— Barnet MPS | North West BCU (@MPSBarnet) July 18, 2022
Khan: 40C temperatures are ‘not normal’ and we must adapt
12:08 , Josh Salisbury
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has described the temperatures expected to be seen across London in the next 48 hours as “not normal”.
Speaking to Sky News, he said: “This is not normal temperatures for a summer in our city and our country. Records are going to be broken this year. 40C is not normal.
He added: “We have to adapt now because I’m afraid this may now become the norm rather than the exception”.
He urged Londoners to be “careful”, saying: “People should be careful. You are not on holiday now, you’re in this country, these temperatures are excessive, please be careful.”
Climate scientist: UK not much worse than other places in dealing with heatwaves
12:22 , Josh Salisbury
Nigel Arnell, professor of climate system science at the University of Reading, said the UK is not that much worse than any other places when it comes to dealing with heatwave events.
He explained: “There are slightly different infrastructure standards based on what we’re used to.
“The problem with this, of course, is that conditions are changing, and what we’re seeing now is conditions increasingly frequently outside the design conditions for what we’ve been used to and we’ve seen it in the railway and we’ve seen it on the roads.
“So it’s this combination of when there’s an upgrade, when they are resurfacing a road, think about the longer term and what asphalt mixes and so on are needed.”
He added that it was also important to have emergency plans in place so that things do not “collapse completely” until upgrades are implemented.
Prof Arnell said that reasonable responses “become more difficult to justify if we have to do them all the time, and then that’s when we need to start thinking about rebuilding bits of infrastructure”.
Parts of London currently hotter than 34C
12:32 , Josh Salisbury
Temperatures have soared to more than 34C in parts of the capital as of noon, making them some of the hottest places in the country.
The hottest place in the country was Charlwood in Essex, at 34.8C, but Heathrow closely followed at 34.5C.
Kew Gardens has recorded a temperature of 34.4C while St James’s Park in central London is recording a temperature of 34.3C.
By two o’clock, parts of London are expected to be 38C, according to the latest Met Office forecast.
Here are the latest top temperatures across the country 👇 pic.twitter.com/eJ1K24wAjl
— Met Office (@metoffice) July 18, 2022
Sir Keir Starmer accuses Government of failing to have effective plan for heatwave
12:44 , Sami Quadri
Sir Keir Starmer said the Government’s lack of planning for the heatwave would leave people distressed and disappointed.
The Labour was asked whether businesses and schools should be open, after he spoke to young entrepreneurs at a central London bank.
He told reporters: “Yes, schools should be open and most schools are managing perfectly well. Obviously there’s been changes to uniforms and what people are wearing, children are wearing to school and some of the schools have flexible times when they can go home.
“We need to work through this but I think most people say we need a Government that’s on our side, that’s got a strategy, that’s planned for events like this. But we’re left again with a Government that’s not done that basic planning and I think that’s going to be very distressing, very disappointing to millions of people across the country”.
Asked whether there should be a maximum workplace temperature, Sir Keir said people are entitled to a safe place of work.
“That can be achieved in a number of ways – I think more flexibility will be needed, breaks, etc. But what we really need is that (Government) resilience strategy”.
Third Cobra meeting about the heatwave to take place on Monday afternoon
12:50 , Sami Quadri
A third emergency Cobra meeting about the heatwave will take place on Monday afternoon.
Cabinet Office Minister Kit Malthouse will chair the discussion about the UK’s response to the sweltering temperatures at 2.30pm.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson will not attend, his spokesman said.
Downing Street said a “range of measures” were in place to cope with temperatures reaching up to 40C on Monday and Tuesday.
“In the NHS we are increasing ambulance control room staff and on NHS 111,” the PM’s official spokesman said/
“There are specialist teams from Network Rail and Transport for London monitoring the impact of higher temperatures so they can keep services running.”
Pictured: Police officer pouring water on horse in Whitehall
12:52 , Sami Quadri
Pictured: Swimmers cooling off in lake in Beckenham
12:56 , Sami Quadri
Sadiq Khan accuses Boris Johnson of treating British public with ‘contempt'
12:57 , Sami Quadri
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said Boris Johnson is treating the British public with “contempt” following his absence from Cobra meetings over the summer heatwave, and called for him to immediately step down as Prime Minister.
Mr Johnson has been criticised for choosing not to chair the security meetings with Cabinet ministers as parts of the country face temperatures of up to 40C (104F) on Monday and Tuesday, while still finding time to ride in a Typhoon fighter jet during a demonstration at RAF Coningsby last week.
Mr Khan said Mr Johnson should be making better use of his time, and declared he should hand over power to Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab while the Conservative Party chooses its next leader.
He said: “The Met Office for the first time ever have issued a level 4 red alert warning, the chief medical officer is advising everybody to be careful as a consequence of this extreme weather, the Prime Minister is hosting a lavish party at Chequers and obviously going on a joyride on a Typhoon plane.
“That’s not what a Prime Minister should be doing. And if the Prime Minister wants to go on a jolly, he should leave Number 10 Downing Street, he should resign and allow the Deputy Prime Minister to be a caretaker prime minister until the Conservatives have chosen their leader.”
He added: “This idea of a Prime Minister, who has been voted out by his party, having a jolly for six months is treating the British public with contempt, he should go now.”
Burst water main floods London streets as temperatures soar
13:19 , Sami Quadri
A burst water main has flooded streets in south-west London as temperatures soared across the UK.
Around 70 firefighters and 10 fire engines responded to the scene on Galsworthy Road in Kingston upon Thames on Monday morning, alongside the police.
Footage shared on social media shows flooding on several roads which have been closed nearby.
Thames Water has said the broken 30-inch pipe does not supply homes so water should not be affected, adding that the conduit is a trunk main and not a sewage pipe as some witnesses claimed.
“Our engineers are tackling a large burst pipe on Kingston Hill. They’re working to shut down the flow of water from the damaged section,” it said in a statement.
“We’ll be doing all we can to repair it and get things back to normal as soon as we can, particularly in the current heatwave.
“The burst pipe doesn’t directly supply local properties, but we’ll be working hard to limit any impact.
“We’ll need to carry out a major repair, so there’s likely to be a need for a road closure. We’re sorry for any inconvenience this causes.”
Top temperatures around the country
13:35 , Sami Quadri
Here are the latest top temperatures across the country 👇 pic.twitter.com/KDIduBO0eg
— Met Office (@metoffice) July 18, 2022
London footfall drops as commuters choose to work from home
13:51 , Josh Salisbury
Tens of thousands of London workers chose to avoid the torture of commuting into their offices on what is expected to be the capital’s hottest ever day.
Latest footfall figures show there were 18 per cent fewer people on the streets of the busiest parts of the West End and the City than last Monday up to 11am.
This was far bigger than the 11.5% decline in regional cities and the 7.3% drop for the UK as a whole. Coastal towns recorded a 9% rise in footfall.
Diane Wehrle, Insights Director at footfall analysts Springboard, said: “The extreme heat occurring today and tomorrow was already impacting footfall in UK retail destinations over the period up to 11am on Monday morning.
“Typically when the weather hot and sunny, shoppers gravitate to outdoor locations, and so footfall in high streets tends to increase while decreasing in shopping centres. However, with the extreme heat today the reverse has occurred, with a drop in footfall in high streets of -7.3% over the period up to 11am on Monday, while in both shopping centres and retail parks - both of which offer air conditioned environments - footfall rose by +1.6% and +1.3% respectively.
“As the day progresses and the heat increases, we are anticipating that the gap between footfall in high streets and shopping centres will widen further.”
‘Unprecedented’ demand for water in recent days
14:18 , Josh Salisbury
The extreme heat has resulted in "unprecedented peak demand" for water in recent days, Water UK said.
The industry body, which has members across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, said the "most intense demand" is across the south of England but that "pretty much all companies are seeing elevated demand at the moment".
A Water UK spokesperson said: "Water companies are seeing unprecedented peak demand for water during this extreme hot weather event.
"We are urging everyone to carefully consider the amount of water they are using at this time.
"All water companies have been contacting their customers directly with information and advice to help them reduce their water usage."
Wales records hottest day on record
14:23 , Josh Salisbury
Wales has now provisionally recorded its hottest day on record, the Met Office has said.
Gogerddan near Aberystwyth has reached 35.3°C so far today, exceeding the previous record high of 35.2°C, recorded at Hawarden Bridge, Flintshire on 2nd August 1990.
Boy, 16, dies after getting into difficulty at lake
14:32 , Josh Salisbury
A 16-year-old boy has died after getting into difficulty in Bray Lake, near Maidenhead, Berkshire.
Thames Valley Police said officers were called at 11.45am on Monday and a body was located at just after 1.30pm, when he was pronounced deceased at the scene.
Superintendent Michael Greenwood, the LPA Commander for Windsor and Maidenhead, said: "This is an absolute tragedy in which a young boy has died after getting into difficulty in the water of Bray Lake.
"The boy's next of kin have been notified and are being offered support at this extremely difficult and traumatic time.
"My thoughts, and the thoughts of all of us at Thames Valley Police are with the boy's family and his friends, and we would ask that their privacy is respected."
Tube and car journeys down amid scorching heat
14:44 , Josh Salisbury
Congestion and tube ridership dropped on Monday as many commuters switched to working from home.
Satnav firm TomTom said road congestion at 9am fell from 53% on July 11 to 42% on Monday.
TfL which told people to "only travel if essential", said around 1.06 million entries and exits were made by London Underground passengers up to 10am on Monday.
This is down 18% compared with the same period last Monday.
TfL said: "Ridership on Monday is typically lower than other days of the week on public transport and is therefore likely to be a good indication of where people are working from home.”
Train tracks heat up to more than 48C as passengers urged not to travel
15:05 , Josh Salisbury
Network Rail have been out painting tracks white to prevent them heating so much they buckle.
At Vauxhall, officials said the tracks had heated up to more than 48 degrees.
“We've found a kink in the rail at Vauxhall, London due to extreme heat,” said Network Rail.
“The rail temperature here is over 48 degrees Celsius so we're painting the rails white to prevent them from getting hotter”.
We've found a kink in the rail at Vauxhall, London due to extreme heat.
🌡️ The rail temperature here is over 48 degrees Celsius so we're painting the rails white to prevent them from getting hotter.
⚠️ Only travel if absolutely necessary!
➡️ https://t.co/ZQlmnINkx1#heatwave pic.twitter.com/ov2FWgmRrr
— Network Rail (@networkrail) July 18, 2022
Kew Gardens hottest place in UK at 37.5C
15:35 , Josh Salisbury
Kew Gardens was the hottest place in the country as of 3pm, recording a sweltering 37.5C.
The Met Office said Cavendish recorded a temperature of 37.4, followed by Santon Downham at 37.2C.
Heathrow was also among the six hottest places in the UK as of 3pm, with a temperature of 37.1C.
RAF ‘stops flights at base over melting runway’ - report
15:41 , Josh Salisbury
The RAF has stopped flights at one of its air bases over the heat, according to a report.
According to Sky News, flights in and out of Brize Norton, the RAF’s largest air base in the UK were stopped because the ”runway has melted” in the hot weather, according to a military source.
NEW: The @RoyalAirForce has halted flights in and out of its largest air base in the UK because the “runway has melted” in the hot weather, according to a military source.
The decision to shut the runway at RAF Brize Norton was taken on Monday morning, @SkyNews understands. 1/
— Deborah Haynes (@haynesdeborah) July 18, 2022
Emergency services ‘seeing increased volume of calls'
15:54 , Daniel Keane
Health Secretary Steve Barclay said the emergency services are already starting to see an increased volume of calls.
Following a meeting of the Cobra emergency committee he said: "We're seeing an increase in calls and the extra resource we have put in place is to manage that.
"But there's also a time lag in the data because the highest point of the expected heatwave is actually going to be tomorrow afternoon.
"So that's the point of maximum concern, but we're seeing an increase in calls. That's why we put more call handlers in place. It's why we put additional funding in - an extra £150 million for the ambulance service, a further £50 million for 111, and indeed other support such as £30 million for auxiliary ambulances. So extra resource has been put in place.
"The contingency plans, that are well established, have been activated. And we're meeting regularly with NHS leaders, with ambulance chief executives, to closely monitor the impacts, and particularly the handover times, so we can mitigate those with the increased pressure they're facing."
Emergency services personnel ‘need summer gear’, says Tory MP
16:08 , Daniel Keane
Conservative MP Sir Peter Bottomley told MPs it is wrong that people in "our public services, particularly the ambulance services" only have winter gear at times like this.
The Father of the House and MP for Worthing West said if they do not have summer gear, they should be allowed where it is "safe and appropriate" to wear "their own summer gear".
Cabinet Office minister Kit Malthouse replied: "The Father of the House raises an extremely important point, which is about the ability, particularly of our emergency services, to cope themselves in their resilience.
"Now, each of those organisations and the leaders thereof will have to take that into account in the months to come, and one of the things that I have said to the team internally that we must do is learn exactly these kinds of practical lessons.
“While there are impacts on the transport network and elsewhere, I am sure that we will see in the next 36 hours, and some of those we can mitigate, it is probably the case that not all of them will be mitigated.
"But we should certainly learn the lessons, and he has raised a very important one for the future."
Wales records hottest ever temperature
16:23 , Daniel Keane
The highest temperature on record in Wales has now risen to 37.1C in Hawarden, Flintshire, provisional Met Office figures show.
No10 says NHS ‘coping well’ with extreme heat
16:39 , Daniel Keane
Downing Street said the NHS is "coping well" with the extreme heat, and no deaths have been reported centrally at this stage.
Asked for an update on the heatwave, the Prime Minister's official spokesman said: "They had the Cobra meeting today where they received updates from relevant public sector teams across things like health, transport and schools.
"We haven't as yet seen significant impacts affecting those areas. There's no indication of mass closures of schools, for example, the NHS is coping well, and obviously there are additional mitigations in place, and Network Rail and others have already taken some mitigations with some reduced service and speed limits in place."
On fatalities, he said there were "none that have been reported to us centrally at this point", but that is not to say there have not been any.
Breaking: Luton Airport suspends flights due to ‘surface defect’ on runway
16:50 , Daniel Keane
Flights have been disrupted at London Luton Airport due to a "surface defect" on the runway.
A statement from the airport said: "Following today's high temperatures, a surface defect was identified on the runway.
"Engineers were called immediately to site and repair works are currently in progress to resume operations as soon as possible.
"We would like to apologise for the inconvenience caused."
Shapps: Transport network needs investment to cope with heat surge
17:06 , Daniel Keane
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said investment is needed for travel infrastructure to deal with hot weather and work has already started on improvements, such as installing railway track capable of withstanding higher temperatures.
He told the PA news agency: "It is obvious that these events are likely to take place much more often. For example, one projection is that we'll see the kind of temperatures that we may get today and tomorrow maybe every three to five years, rather than a one-in-a-hundred-year kind of incident, or for the first time ever.
"So we do need to build our infrastructure, whether that's rail or roads or aviation, to withstand these new temperatures and that's exactly what we're getting on with doing.
"All the work we do is now to these new higher standards, able to withstand some of these more extreme weather conditions.”
NHS medical director praises staff
17:22 , Daniel Keane
NHS medical director Professor Sir Stephen Powis has praised staff as he said “the overwhelming majority of NHS services are continuing to run despite the unprecedented heatwave”.
He added: “We know that some people, particularly the elderly or vulnerable, may have been unable to attend appointments because of the hot weather or disruption to other services, such as public transport.
“With tomorrow set to be as hot, if not hotter, than today, we are monitoring the situation closely and people should take simple, common sense steps to stay well such as drinking enough and staying out of the sun.
“If you or a loved one do feel ill, you can get advice and a referral to NHS services, if it is needed, through 111 online or from your local pharmacist, with 999 there for anyone who requires emergency care for a life-threatening condition.”
Pictured: Reservoir close to Oldham dries up in soaring temperatures
17:40 , Daniel Keane
What were today’s peak temperatures?
18:00 , Daniel Keane
While the mercury did not quite surpass the previous record of 38.7C in England, Wales recorded its hottest ever temperature on Monday.
Today’s top temperatures are as follows:
- 38.1C England (Santon Downham)
- 33C Ireland (Dublin’s Phoenix Park)
- 31.3C Scotland (Aboyne)
- 31.1C Northern Ireland (Derrylin)
Fire crews tackle blaze in Worcestershire
18:17 , Daniel Keane
Firefighters are battling a blaze at Lickey Hills Country Park on the edge of Birmingham.
Twelve fire engines are tackling the blaze which broke at the beauty spot at 1.15pm.
Around 4,305 square ft of land is ablaze, authorities said.
Dog being treated by vet after swimming in Bushy Park
18:39 , Daniel Keane
A dog who was taken ill while cooling off in the river at Bushy Park in southwest London has been taken to a vet for treatment, police said.
A vet who treated the dog said that “a build up of algae due to hot weather” may have caused them to fall ill.
Officers from @MPSRoyal_Parks have received a report of a dog that was taken ill while cooling off in the river at #BushyPark It was taken to a vet who believes a build up in algae due to hot weather may be the reason. Can dog owners consider this when visiting @theroyalparks pic.twitter.com/3frPj6dSt3
— Royal Parks Police (@MPSRoyal_Parks) July 18, 2022
Watch: Government Issues First-Ever Extreme Heat Warning
18:58 , Daniel Keane
UK could face wildfire risks, says expert
19:04 , Robert Dex
Experts are worried about the possibility of major wildfires tearing through the countryside as temperatures threaten to soar as high as 40C.
Patches of England were at “exceptional risk” of wildfires on Monday, the Met Office said, with an alert spreading to most of the country for Tuesday.
Kathryn Brown, the Wildlife Trust’s director for climate action, said.“In southern Europe, we’re seeing these stories of these horrendous wildfires taking hold all over the place and these are the conditions that we’re going to be more prone to.
“We need to be much more aware, and the public needs to be much more aware, of the wildfire risk.”
National Trust warns against lighting barbecues
19:55 , Daniel Keane
The National Trust has warned against lighting barbecues or campfires in open countryside and dropping litter such as glass bottles.
“We’re on tenterhooks that someone is careless with a cigarette butt or thoughtless by lighting barbecues and us having to deal with a wildfire,” the charity’s conservation head Ben McCarthy said.
“They destroy the habitat they rip through and also all the animals and plants that occur there and make up those habitats.
“At the Marsden Moor (in West Yorkshire) fire back in 2019, when we surveyed the site after the flames had been extinguished, we saw lots of burnt-out reptiles and amphibians, burnt-out nests.”
Pictured: People jump from a pier into the water of Loch Lomond
20:25 , Daniel Keane
Ireland records second-highest temperature ever
20:47 , Daniel Keane
Ireland has recorded its second highest temperature in history, according to Met Eireann.
A temperature of 33C was recorded at the Phoenix Park in Dublin on Monday.
This was just 0.3C cooler than the all-time high of 33.3C which was recorded at Kilkenny Castle on June 26, 1887.
A status yellow high temperature warning remains in place across the country as it faces another day of high heat.
The Phoenix Park temperature on Monday marks the highest recorded in the 21st century, overtaking 32.3C in Elphin, Co Roscommon on July 19, 2006.
Boy believed drowned after entering Thames to ‘cool off’
21:02 , Daniel Keane
A 14-year-old boy is missing and believed to have drowned after getting into difficulty in the Thames in Richmond.
The teenager is believed to have entered the water to cool down during the heatwave on Monday when temperatures have reached more than 37C.
The Metropolitan Police said they were alerted by the London Ambulance Service to reports that a child had been seen to enter the water at Tagg’s Island in Hampton.
Officers responded with paramedics and the London Fire Brigade.
An extensive search was carried out involving all three emergency services and members of the public, police said.
Our full story here.
Police mourn ‘tragedy’ as 16-year-old dies in river
21:29 , Daniel Keane
Superintendent Richard Smith, from the South West Command Unit, said: "Despite the very best efforts of all involved, we must now sadly conclude that this young boy has died.
"His death is a tragedy and I cannot begin to imagine what his family will be going through. All our thoughts are with them.
"I know that on days like today when temperatures are at a record high, it might look appealing to jump in and cool off in rivers, reservoirs, lakes or other open water.
"Please don't. The dangers are real and this evening in Richmond we have seen the terrible consequences of what happens when it goes wrong.
"To young people in particular, I would urge you to be the person in your group of friends who says no and reminds others about the dangers.
"Your intervention could save a life and save another family from experiencing such an awful loss."
Thanks for following
22:12 , Daniel Keane
That’s the end of our live coverage of the heatwave for today, but we’ll be back tomorrow morning with all the latest weather news.