London weather and travel latest: UK records hottest day of the year again as temperature surges past 32C

·10-min read
London weather and travel latest: UK records hottest day of the year again as temperature surges past 32C

The UK has recorded its hottest day of the year for the third day in a row.

A high of 32.7C was recorded at Santon Downham, Suffolk early on Friday afternoon - though the mercury is expected to climb further later in the day.

It beats the peak of 32.4C recorded at Heathrow earlier on Friday, while in St James’ Park in central London the mercury hit 32.3C.

An NHS ‘Level 3’ warning remains in force for London, the east and south east of England.

The Met Office says London and parts of the south east could see the mercury rise to 34C (93.2F). Such is the high heat, the London Fire Brigade is warning of an increased risk of fires due to the mini heatwave.

The surging temperatures come ahead of a planned Tube strike on June 21. Due to the planned walkout, Londoners have been advised not to travel on the Tube on Tuesday, while there are fears the national rail strikes between June 21-26 could harm school exams.

Key points

Royal Ascot relaxes dress code

08:44 , Bill Mcloughlin

Royal Ascot has relaxed its dress code due to the surging heat expected on Friday.

Jackets, ties and hats for men will not need to be warn inside enclosures Friday in just the second time in the racecourse’s history.

Level three health alert issued for London

08:51 , Bill Mcloughlin

A Level 3 Heat-Health alert for London, the East of England and the South East is in place to help protect health services, the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) has said.

Agostinho Sousa of the UKHSA told BBC Breakfast the alert is to help protect the NHS, adding: "The Level 3 alert is operational and called 'heatwave action'. It is to inform our partners that they should prepare their services for possible increases in demand due to increases in temperatures.

"We also have a Level 2 that is currently active in the South West and East of England that is to inform our partners that they should prepare their services in case they need to enter into action in case we see an increase in temperatures.

"Right now the situation is stable, and we expect the temperatures to drop tomorrow."

Southeastern rail issues travel advice

08:55 , Bill Mcloughlin

Thameslink warns of ‘severe disruption’ next week

09:09 , Bill Mcloughlin

Due to the striek action between June 21-26, Thameslink has advised to only travel if necessary.

NHS patients urged to plan ahead for appointments as travel chaos loom

09:28 , Bill Mcloughlin

NHS patients in England are being urged to plan ahead for appointments as rail strikes are set to cause travel chaos next week.

Speaking ahead of the strikes, the NHS’s top doctor reminded people that “the NHS remains open” as he called on people to seek care when needed.

Millions of people are seen and treated in the NHS every week.

read our story here.

Londoners cool off in the searing heat

09:56 , Bill Mcloughlin

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(PA)
London is set for 34C heat (PA)
London is set for 34C heat (PA)
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(PA)

More railway workers to be balloted over strikes

10:32 , Bill Mcloughlin

Away from the scorching heat, more railway workers are to be balloted for strikes in escalating disputes over pay and jobs, increasing the threat of a summer of travel chaos.

The Transport Salaried Staffs Association (TSSA) served notice to ballot hundreds of workers at Southeastern, saying it was demanding a guarantee of no compulsory redundancies, no unagreed changes to terms and conditions, and a pay increase which reflects the rising cost of living.

The ballot closes on July 11 and strike action if voted on, may commence from July 25.

SSA general secretary, Manuel Cortes, said: "Our members at Southeastern are seeking basic fair treatment in the teeth of a crippling cost-of-living crisis.

"Rail workers were hailed as heroes in the pandemic and now they deserve a real terms pay rise which keeps pace with inflation, rather than shouldering the burden of the Tories' economic meltdown.

"Our demands are simple - pay which reflects the times we live in, a deal which delivers job security, and no race to the bottom on terms and conditions."

Read our story here.

Gatwick to limit number of flights over summer to avoid ‘cancellation chaos’

11:13 , Bill Mcloughlin

Gatwick bosses are to cap the number of planes that use the airport in July and August to avoid a repeat of the “cancellation chaos” that ruined the trips of thousands of holidaymakers over the Jubilee weekend.

Schedules will be trimmed to manageable levels that should prevent “on the day” cancellations at the airport over the summer peak.

July daily departures and arrivals will be limited to 825 rising to 850 in August. Previously Gatwick was planning to handle up to 900 flights on the busiest August days.

Read our story here.

Temperatures to exceed 2020 high

11:29 , Bill Mcloughlin

According to the BBC’s Nick Miller, temperatures today will exceed 2020’s summer high of 32.2C.

The mercury levels may even approach the hottest June day on record of 35.6C in Southampton in 1976, he reports.

Latest Met Office forecast

11:40 , Bill Mcloughlin

Temperatures to stay high overnight

12:16 , Bill Mcloughlin

While a high of 34C is expected today, the Met Office’s forecast states that temperatures will range between between 20-29C from 8pm to 7am tomorrow.

Watch: Friday’s full weather forecast

12:44 , Daniel Keane

Temperatures surpass 30C at Heathrow

13:08 , Daniel Keane

The UK has recorded its hottest day of the year for the third day in a row.

A high of 30.3C was recorded at Heathrow - though the mercury is expected to climb further later on.

It beats the peak of 29.5C recorded at Northolt on Thursday.

UK’s coldest areas revealed

13:29 , Daniel Keane

As the South basks in sweltering heat, the mercury has barely risen into the teens in some areas of the UK.

Cairnwell, in the Eastern Scottish Highlands, has recorded a temperature of 10.6C at midday.

And in the Ballypatrick Forest, in Northern Ireland, temperatures have hovered around the 12.5C mark.

Carrie Johnson arrives at Ascot

13:35 , Bill Mcloughlin

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)
Carrie Johnson poses for a photograph at Ascot (AFP via Getty Images)
Carrie Johnson poses for a photograph at Ascot (AFP via Getty Images)

‘We’re keeping an eye on Ascot’, says Met Office

13:54 , Bill Mcloughlin

Stephen Dixon, spokesman for the Met Office, said: “One thing we are keeping an eye on is Royal Ascot.

“The highest maximum temperature we’ve had on a day is 32.8 degrees, which is taken from a nearby station in Reading near Royal Ascot.”

He added: “It’s looking like it could be around 31 degrees in Reading today, but I wouldn’t rule out the possibility of it perhaps rising into 32, and then obviously getting closer to that record, but it’s something that might be quite close to being the hottest Royal Ascot on record.”

Sadiq Khan hopes unions will call off strike at the 11th hour

14:18 , Bill Mcloughlin

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, said he is encouraging the unions to meet with Transport for London in order to call off the strikes next week.

He told the BBC’s World At One programme: “I’m encouraging the RMT to meet with TfL before Tuesday to call these strikes off.

“The strikes next week are going to be so damaging to London’s economy, they are going to be incredibly inconvenient.

“The concerns the RMT have in relation to London are because of conditions attached by the Government in relation to the funding required because of the pandemic, so they’re pointing their anger at the wrong people. It’s the wrong people suffering.

“So in relation to the strikes in London, I’d encourage the RMT to meet with TfL.”

Latest temperatures

14:33 , Bill Mcloughlin

Pictures from across the country

15:24 , Bill Mcloughlin

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)
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(PA)

Heatwave to end on Saturday

16:26 , Bill Mcloughlin

Mercury surges to 32.7C

17:09 , Daniel Keane

A new record temperature has been set in the UK - surpassing the previous 32.4C in Heathrow.

The mercury surged past 32.7C in Santon Downham in Suffolk, setting a new high for the year.

Heatwave to end on Saturday, Met Office says

17:39 , Daniel Keane

Check on most vulnerable, says health official

18:24 , Daniel Keane

Agostinho Sousa, head of extreme events and health protection at the UK Health Security Agency, has urged Britons to check on the most vulnerable people during the hot weather.

He said: “During periods of hot weather, it is especially important to keep checking on those who are most vulnerable, such as older people and those with heart or lung conditions.

“Make sure to look out for signs of heat exhaustion and follow our simple health advice to beat the heat.”

Woman poses in the Tower of London’s ‘Superbloom’ garden

18:55 , Daniel Keane

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(PA)

It’s been a scorcher in London today, but what about this evening?

19:21 , Elly Blake

That’s all for this evening

20:02 , Elly Blake

That’s the end of our live coverage on what has been the hottest day of the year so far.

A high of 32.7C was recorded at Santon Downham, Suffolk early on Friday afternoon.

It beats the peak of 32.4C recorded at Heathrow earlier on Friday, while in St James’ Park in central London the mercury hit 32.3C.

That’s all for now - enjoy the rest of the warmth before temperatures across the UK drop this weekend.

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