Temperatures hit a high of 32C in west London on Monday afternoon as forecasters predicted it could be the hottest day of the year so far.
The Met Office earlier issued a rare “extreme heat warning” for much of England saying “exceptionally high temperatures” are possible from Sunday.
Some modelling has suggested the mercury could reach 40C or beyond at the end of the week, smashing the UK’s record high of 38.5C recorded at Cambridge University Botanic Garden on 25 July 2019.
The Met Office said highs of 33C were expected in some areas on Monday afternoon, with Northolt, west London, recording temperatures of 32C as of 2pm.
The UK’s record high for this year currently stands at 32.7C - recorded at Heathrow on June 17.
The warm weather is expected to continue through the week, with highs in the upper 20s, before the mercury rises again to 31C in places such as London, Reading and Oxford.
This means parts of the country will be hotter than some of the world’s top beach destinations, including the Maldives and Marbella in Spain.
Met Office forecaster Greg Dewhurst said: “It will be very warm overnight going into Tuesday, remaining in the low 20s in cities, so many may experience an uncomfortable night.”
A Level Three Heat Health Alert has been issued by the Met Office and the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) from 9am on Monday to 9am on Friday in the east and south-east of England, with the rest of the nation having a level 2 alert in place.
13:02 , Michael Howie
Welcome to the Standard’s live weather blog on this sunny - and extremely hot - Monday. Stick with us for regular updates on the heatwave with the temperature tipped to climb as high as 31C or 32C in London this afternoon. Forecasters say the UK’s record high this - 32.7C at Heathrow on June 17 - could even be beaten.
It’s getting hot out there...
13:07 , Michael Howie
It’s already hit 29C in St James’s Park according to some temperature readings posted on social media. The Met Office is forecasting it’ll reach 31C by 4pm in the Royal Park.
Latest hourly temperatures from official observing sites at 1100Z on 11th July.#London, St James's Park was the warmest place with a #temperature of 29.0C.https://t.co/2cmEuTIeGH pic.twitter.com/mietEVhfLK
— Dan Harris (@RoostWeather) July 11, 2022
Water companies urge people to not waste water during heatwave
13:18 , Josh Salisbury
Water companies are urging people not to waste water during the heatwave this week, because it can lead to some people not having any water running through their taps.
This is not due to a shortage but to do with companies not being able to treat water quickly enough to keep up with the demand.
However, no water company has introduced a hosepipe ban.
Thames Water has advised that people swap hosepipes for watering cans, and to use leftover water from paddling pools to wash the dog, or clean your car, among other tips.
Water companies have also urged people to find alternatives to cooling down rather than having cold showers, including taking a dip in a local swimming pool or the sea.
London under Level 3 health alert amid soaring temperatures
13:30 , Josh Salisbury
London is under a Level 3 health alert because of the heatwave, with temperatures expected to surpass 30 degrees celsius this afternoon.
The alert was issued for London, the South East and the East of England, from 9am today and will be in place until 9am Friday.
Officials are advising that particular care should be taken with those who are vulnerable, and that young children and pets should not be left alone in cars.
“Most of us can enjoy the hot weather when it arrives, but it is important to keep yourself hydrated and to find shade where possible when UV rays are strongest, between 11am and 3pm,” Dr Agostinho Sousa, of the UK Health Security Agency said.
“If you have vulnerable family, friends and neighbours, make sure they are aware of how they can keep themselves protected from the warm weather.”
Pictures: Londoners take advantage of sunny weather to swim and sunbathe
13:42 , Josh Salisbury
Londoners have been taking advantage of the balmy weather by going for a dip in Hyde Park and sunbathing in many of the capital’s other parks.
Could temperatures reach as high as 40 degrees for first time this month?
14:06 , Josh Salisbury
Some computer forecast models have shown that UK temperatures could reach over 40C in mid-July - the highest ever recorded.
However, forecasters have said while this is technically possible, it is unlikely, as it depends on a number of factors.
A Met Office spokesperson told the Standard: “Some models have been producing maximum temperatures in excess of 40C in parts of the UK over the coming weekend and beyond.
At longer time scales temperature forecasts become less reliable, so whilst these maxima cannot be ruled out, they are still only a very low probability.
“A number of weather scenarios are still possible and at the current time, mid- or perhaps high-30s are looking more likely.”
Rare ‘extreme heat’ warning issued from Sunday
14:16 , Josh Salisbury
The Met Office has issued an rare amber warning for “extreme heat” for Sunday, advising that “exceptionally high temperatures are possible from Sunday, lasting into early next week”.
The warning, which covers most of England and parts of Wales, means that “population-wide adverse health effects are likely to be experienced, not limited to those most vulnerable to extreme heat, leading to potential serious illness or danger to life”.
The warning adds: “Substantial changes in working practices and daily routines likely to be required”.
The rare warning comes after some forecast models have shown that temperatures as high as 40C are possible at the weekend - which would be the highest ever recorded in the UK.
However, Met Office officials say temperatures of “mid- or perhaps high-30s are looking more likely”.
⚠️⚠️Amber Weather Warning issued⚠️⚠️
This rare Extreme Heat warning covers much of England and parts of Wales 📈
Exceptionally high temperatures are possible from Sunday, lasting into early next week #heatwave 🌡️
Latest info 👉 https://t.co/QwDLMfRBfs
Stay #WeatherAware⚠️ pic.twitter.com/Ahe0nxK4aU
— Met Office (@metoffice) July 11, 2022
Electricity supply potential risk from ‘extreme heat’ at weekend - Met Office
15:12 , Josh Salisbury
The Met Office has issued a list of the possible side effects of the extreme heat expected from Sunday, which has prompted a rare heat-related amber warning.
Forecasters say the possible impacts are adverse health impacts on those vulnerable to heat, including sunburn, heat exhaustion and other heat-related illnesses.
They also warn of potential failure of heat sensitive equipment, meaning possible loss of electricity, water, or gas supplies.
Travel could also be affected, with heavy traffic and queues expected. They also advise there is greater potential for water-related incidents as people seek to cool off.
Council uses gritters to prevent roads ‘melting'
15:23 , Josh Salisbury
A council is preparing to deploy gritters in response to melting roads because of soaring temperatures.
Hampshire County Council said the machines will be spreading light dustings of sand.
This “acts like a sponge to soak up excess bitumen", according to the authority.
Gritters are normally used to distribute salt during the winter to stop ice forming on roads.
Temperature hits 32C
16:26 , Elly Blake
The highest temperature recorded so far is 32C at Northolt in west London at 1.50pm on Monday, according to the Met Office.
Khan: Take care amid high temperatures
17:25 , Josh Salisbury
The Mayor of London has urged the capital’s residents to take care amid extreme temperatures expected in coming days.
Sadiq Khan said: “I urge everyone to drink plenty of water in these high temperatures and look after each other – particularly the most vulnerable Londoners, including the elderly, those living alone, and those with chronic or severe illnesses.
“We know that simple precautions can save lives, so I encourage everyone to stay out of the sun, to be careful if travelling at the hottest times of day, and to utilise London’s 4,000 free refill locations, more than 100 new water fountains and our Cool Spaces across the capital.”
Met Office predicts ‘warm and uncomfortable’ night
17:33 , Josh Salisbury
Met Office forecasters are predicting a “warm and uncomfortable night” for many.
Forecasters said that “overnight temperatures in some places failing to drop” below 20C, meaning “a tropical night to come for some”.
In London, the minimum temperature is not expected to fall below 18C.
A warm and uncomfortable night to come for many, with overnight temperatures in some places failing to drop below 20 °C 🌡️
So a tropical night to come for some 👇 pic.twitter.com/ff9M7yvF5M
— Met Office (@metoffice) July 11, 2022
What are hottest recorded UK temperatures?
17:58 , Josh Salisbury
The weekend and the start of next week could see a new UK temperature record set, as the Met Office warns of “extreme heat”.
But what are the highest temperatures recorded in the UK?
According to forecasters, they are:
Cambridge Botanic Garden, East Anglia: 38.725 (July 2019)
Faversham, South East England: 38.510 (August 2003)
Cheltenham, Midlands: 37.13 (August 1990)
Cranwell, East and North East England: 36.325 (July 2019)
Saunton Sands, South West England: 35.43 (August 1990)
Hawarden Bridge, North Wales: 35.22 (August 1990)
Crossway, South Wales: 34.63 (August 1990)
Nantwich, North West England: 34.63 (August 1990)
Greycrook, East Scotland: 32.99 (August 2003)
Dumfries, West Scotland: 32.82 (July 1908)
Northolt hottest place in country today - Met Office
18:03 , Josh Salisbury
Northolt in west London took the crown for the hottest spot in the UK today, according to the Met Office.
A reading of 32C at Northolt made it the hottest place in the country, while Heathrow followed close behind at 31.8C.
St James’s Park also recorded a temperature of 31.C.
Meanwhile, Wales had its hottest day of the year so far, with Cardiff Bute Park recording a temperature of 28.7C.
Temperatures widely in excess of 30 °C across much of England with Wales having it's hottest day of the year so far 🌡️ pic.twitter.com/Ehq0TLt77P
— Met Office (@metoffice) July 11, 2022
Man dies at popular waterfall near Loch Lomond
18:07 , Josh Salisbury
A 24-year-old man has died after getting into difficulty at a popular waterfall near Loch Lomond.
The alarm was raised at 5.20pm on Saturday July 9 and emergency services were called after police received a call for concern for a person at the Falls of Falloch near Crianlarich, Stirling.
He was recovered from the water by specialist officers from Police Scotland Dive and Marine Unit.
There are no suspicious circumstances surrounding the man’s death, said police.
Wales records hottest day of year so far, while London hits 32C
20:04 , Elly Blake
Soaring temperatures saw Wales record its hottest day of the year so far on Monday, the Met Office said.
At 6pm on Monday, the United Kingdom’s national weather service tweeted: “Temperatures widely in excess of 30C across much of England with Wales having it’s hottest day of the year so far.”
In London, temperatures hit 32C in Northolt and 31.8C at Heathrow.
In Wales, the mercury reached 28.7C in Cardiff’s Bute Park, while Aboyne in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, basked in 27.5C and it was 24.2C in Armagh, Northern Ireland.
What’s the forecast for the rest of the week?
20:07 , Elly Blake
It comes as hot weather is predicted to continue on Tuesday and over the weekend.
The Met Office has said the mercury is predicted to rise to 30C in London, Chelmsford, in Essex, and Sudbury, in Suffolk, on Tuesday while the rest of England is expected to see temperatures soar to the late 20s.
The whole of England is largely expected to experience sunny days with some cloud over the next week to match the temperatures of mid to high 20s.
It will cool off a little on Friday, with the north-west and north-east of England predicted to have some rain with temperatures reaching highs of 19C, ahead of a warmer weekend.
Temperatures are then expected to spike to 32C in Reading and London on Sunday and in excess of 35C in the southeast.
That’s all for this evening
21:36 , Elly Blake
That’s the end of our live coverage on Monday.
Join us again for tomorrow as London is set for another scorcher with temperaturs expected to rise above 30C for a second day running.
We’ll bring you the latest on the heatwave sweeping across the UK.