Today is the hottest-ever July day in the UK and the second hottest day since records began, forecasters have confirmed. The mercury hit 38.1C in Cambridge and 37.7C at Kew Gardens in south-west London and Writtle in Essex, Met Office figures show. It is possible that the all-time UK record of 38.5C (101.3F) recorded in Faversham, Kent, in August 2003, could be broken.
How bad is it?
The heat is causing huge issues for commuters as rail companies reduce speed limits amid fears that tracks could buckle in the heat if trains travel too fast. Passengers in the south-east have been told to avoid travelling if possible.
Doctors are warning that few lessons have been learned from last year’s heatwave, and few hospitals are prepared for the impact of intense heat. Nick Scriven, president of the Society for Acute Medicine, said NHS employees were “struggling” and “overheated and exhausted staff” were at greater risk of making errors.
Other parts of Europe have been hit even harder. Paris has beaten its all-time heat record, hitting 40.6C. Officials in Belgium said the nation has seen temperatures rise past the 40C mark for the first time since records were kept in 1833. The German weather service also announced a new record temperature of 41.5C, breaching the previous high set earlier in the day.
Rush-hour commuters demand air-conditioning in 'sauna-like' conditions (Evening Standard)
Why does hot weather cause travel chaos? (Yahoo News UK)
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