Weather forecast – live: Bus fire probed over heat link as temperatures hit 32.4C

·38-min read
Weather forecast – live: Bus fire probed over heat link as temperatures hit 32.4C

London Fire Brigade investigators are probing whether a bus fire in Brixton was caused by the unusually hot weather.

The double-decker was seen covered in flames and black smoke on Christchurch Road in Streatham Hill on Friday morning.

The fire service confirmed that all passengers and the driver were safely evacuated.

It comes as Friday was confirmed the hottest day of the year so far, topping yesterday’s high by 1.4C as the temperature hit 32.4C this afternoon in Heathrow, the Met Office said.

The brigade urged people to make sure they do not leave matches, cigarettes and disposable BBQs in parks as they are common causes of grass fires.

In a Twitter post, it also advised people to “make sure to clear away bottles and any broken glass to avoid them magnifying the sun and starting a fire”.

Elswhere, a Level 3 Heat-Health alert for London, the East of England and the southeast was put in place to help protect health services cope with the hot spell.

Key Points

  • Brixton fire: Probe to investigate if heatwave sparked bus blaze in south London

  • UK heatwave: Hottest day confirmed for third day in a row as 30.7C heat recorded

  • Heatwaves increase risk of early death, study claims

  • Met Office issues weather alert for Friday and Saturday

  • Explained: What is a heatwave?

Firefighters tackle huge flat fire in sweltering heat

17:04 , Liam James

Ten fire engines and 70 firefighters were called to a blaze at a flat above a shopon Camden High Street in London just after midday.

The London Fire Brigade said in a statement that “part of the ground floor shop and most of a first-floor flat roof is alight”.

Station Commander Brett Loft, who attended the incident, said: “Firefighters are working in incredibly hot and arduous conditions to quickly bring the fire under control.

“There was heavy smoke in the area and local residents were advised to keep their windows and doors closed, but this is now subsiding.

“There are currently no reports of any injuries.”

In response to speculation that the London heatwave is responsible for the number of fires across the capital, the fire service tweeted: “Busy afternoon with a number of fires across the capital that are very visible.

“A number of people are asking whether they are related to the heat. All fires will be investigated and it’s too early to say what the causes are at the current time.”

Aftermath of the fire on Camden High Street (LFB)
Aftermath of the fire on Camden High Street (LFB)

Kate Middleton channels Pretty Woman at Ascot as heatwave hits

16:10 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

The Duchess of Cambridge channelled Julia RobertsPretty Woman character at the Royal Ascot races on Friday as she donned a polka-dot dress for the royal carriage procession, Laura Hampson writes.

Kate Middleton wore a white, high-neck polka-dot dress for the occasion, and matched it with a brown hat with a white flower detail.

Temperatures at the racecourse are predicted to reach 31C, but are likely to feel hotter.

In response to the UK’s heatwave, organisers have announced that the usually-strict dress code will not be enforced and that racegoers will be allowed to remove jackets and ties.

Kate Middleton channels Pretty Woman at Ascot as heatwave hits

Beware of swimming in open waters, RNLI says

15:51 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) has warned that open waters may be “dangerously cold” despite the heatwave.

In a Tweet, RNLI said the temperature of the water could “take your breath away”.

The institution released advice on what to do if you find yourself in trouble:

UKHSA gives advice on how to look after the vulnerable in the heat

15:37 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

High temperatures will continue over the southern half of the UK on Friday, with a chance of some parts reaching 34°C, higher than the maximum temperature reached in the whole of 2021 (which was 32.2°C).

Agostinho Sousa, Head of Extreme Events and Health Protection at the UK Health Security Agency, said: “Temperatures have already reached 30°C in some parts of the south on Friday and we want everyone to enjoy the hot weather safely when it arrives and be aware of good health advice for coping with warmer conditions.

“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.”

How hot does it have to be to shut schools?

15:19 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

While Britons have been sweltering in the heatwave and a Level 3 Heat-Health alert has been issued for London, the East of England and the South East by UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), schools remain open.

So how hot does it have to be for schools to close?

According to the government’s Health and Safety Executive (HSE), schools must follow the same health and safety laws for indoor temperatures as workplaces.

Find out more here:

How hot does it have to be to shut schools?

Brixton fire: Probe to investigate if heatwave sparked bus blaze in south London

15:02 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

A bus has burst into flames on a south London high street.

The double-decker was seen covered in flames and black smoke on Christchurch Road in Streatham Hill on Friday morning.

There had been close to 20 further calls about the incident following this initial alert. The London Fire Brigade confirmed that it responded to the blaze and confirmed all passengers and the driver were able to get off.

A London Fire Brigade spokesperson said investigators are probing the cause of the fire, including whether it is related to the hot weather in London.

My colleague Thomas Kingsley has more:

Bus in flames on Brixton high street

Brits soak in the sun on the hottest day of the year

14:45 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

Relaxing in the hot weather on Bournemouth beach (Andrew Matthews/PA) (PA Wire)
Relaxing in the hot weather on Bournemouth beach (Andrew Matthews/PA) (PA Wire)
People enjoy the warm weather on Bournemouth beach in Dorset. (PA)
People enjoy the warm weather on Bournemouth beach in Dorset. (PA)
A swimmer enjoys a dip at London Fields Lido (Jonathan Brady/PA) (PA Wire)
A swimmer enjoys a dip at London Fields Lido (Jonathan Brady/PA) (PA Wire)
People scooter past a sign at Boscombe Beach in Dorset (PA)
People scooter past a sign at Boscombe Beach in Dorset (PA)

Explained: What is a heatwave?

14:30 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

While there is no denying the UK is experiencing a hot spell, can it be classed as a heatwave?

Here’s everything you need to know:

Explained: What is a heatwave?

Very high pollen warning covers England and Wales

14:15 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

The Met Office has warned of very high pollen levels covering all of England and Wales as bright and sunny skies take over this afternoon.

Hottest day confirmed for third day in a row as 32.4C heat recorded

14:03 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

The temperature hit 32.4C at 2pm in Heathrow, the Met Office confirmed, as Britain’s hot spell continues.

Read more from Thomas Kingsley here:

Hottest day confirmed for third day in a row as 32.4C heat recorded

How hot does it need to be to legally leave work?

14:00 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

The Met Office has issued an alert for Friday and Saturday this week, with temperatures expected to soar to 34C.

The warning covers parts of England from midnight on Friday until midnight on Sunday.

Met Office deputy chief meteorologist Dan Rudman said: “Temperatures will continue to rise as we go through the week, becoming well above-average by Friday when many parts of the southern half of the UK are likely to exceed 30C and may even reach 34C in some places.”

But how hot does it need to be before workers should be sent home by their employers?

Sabrina Barr explains:

Can you legally leave work if it becomes too hot?

Heat health alerts issued as temperature soars

13:32 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

As the mercury soared in England, heat-health alerts were issued for parts of the nation, and Network Rail warned services could be disrupted by the warm weather.

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.”

That temperature was recorded on June 21 2017.

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.”

Predicted high temperatures have meant men in all enclosures at Ascot were allowed to remove their jackets and ties once the traditional royal carriage procession had ended.

UK heatwave: Hottest day confirmed for third day in a row as 30.7C heat recorded

12:45 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

Friday has been confirmed the hottest day of the year so far, topping yesterday’s high by 1.4C.

The temperature hit 30C at 11am in Heathrow, the Met Office confirmed, as Britain’s hot spell continues.

My colleague Thomas Kingsley has more here:

Hottest day confirmed for third day in a row as 30.7C heat recorded

Heatwaves increase risk of early death, new study claims on hottest day of year

12:19 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

Heatwaves in the south east cause a seven per cent spike in the risk of an early death when temperatures creep into the low 30s, a new study has warned.

In Aberdeenshire in Scotland, temperatures of just 26.7C raises the risk by four per cent compared to the southeast of England.

In 2019, a temperature of 38.7C broke the UK’s maximum ever observed of 38.5C set in 2003 causing 892 excess deaths.

Researchers from Surrey’s Global Centre for Clean Air Research (GCARE) at the University of Surrey examined mortality and maximum daily temperatures across 38 years from 1981 to 2018 in Southeast England and Aberdeenshire.

They concluded that global warming has increased heatwaves which are making more people in rural areas of England severely ill today than they were in the 1980s.

Professor Prashant Kumar, Director of GCARE, said: “Heatwaves are getting deadlier, even in Britain.

“We already knew that the urban heat island effect exacerbates the problem in cities, but now we also have proof that people living in less built-up areas are also threatened.

The researchers found that people living in the southeast of England are now seven per cent more likely to die prematurely when the temperature rises about six degrees Centigrade above 26.5 degrees Centigrade.

In Aberdeenshire, the risk of dying prematurely increases by four per cent, compared to the Southeast of England, when the temperature increases by just two degrees from 24.5 degrees C to 26.7 degrees C.

Expensive sunscreens fail to offer sun protection, Which? report finds

11:49 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

Sunscreens costing up to £28 have failed to provide adequate levels of sun protection, according to a new report from Which?.

The consumer watchdog tested five mineral SPF30 sunscreens and found that none offered the level of protection it claimed to have.

Three of the sunscreens tested failed sun protection factor (SPF) tests, which measures the sunscreens’ ability to filter UVB rays.

Laura Hampson talks you through the Which? report here:

Expensive sunscreens fail to offer sun protection, Which? report finds

The climb to the 30s begins

11:16 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

Temperatures are heating up, particularly in England as the mercury climbs up to the 30s.

Remember to use sunscreen and keep drinking water to avoid dehydration in the heatwave.

Opinion: ‘I’ve discovered the worst thing to do in a heatwave – bar none'

10:46 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

“It’s not the Tube, though travelling on London Underground during a heatwave is a bit like taking a one-way ticket directly into hell, into Dante’s Inferno; the screams and cries of the damned all around you (as well as that drunk guy who keeps trying to touch your leg),” our Voices editor Victoria Richards writes.

Read more here:

Opinion: I’ve discovered the worst thing to do in a heatwave – bar none

This fan hack will help you sleep better during hot nights

10:11 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

Getting a comfortable night’s sleep during a heatwave can sometimes feel like a futile endeavour, but this quick fan trick might help bring some relief to a stuffy night.

All you need is a stand fan that can be placed in front of an open window. But instead of pointing the fan towards yourself, the trick involves turning it around so it faces the outside through the open window.

It might sound counterintuitive to turn the fan away from you, but according to eco design adviser Nelson Lebo, it is “the best, low-cost, highly effective technique to keep a home cool”.

My colleague Kate Ng has all the details here:

This fan hack will help you sleep better during hot nights

How to keep your pets safe and healthy during a heatwave

09:40 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

With the Met Office forecasting high temperatures across the UK this week, many parts of the country are seeing temperatures above average- but just imagine how your pet may be feeling.

Domestic animals don’t have the luxury of being able to say when they’re feeling overheated or dehydrated, which is why you need to learn how to keep your pet as safe and healthy as possible during these extreme weather conditions.

Whether you’re a dog person or own a reptile, Sabrina Barr shares more on how to look after your pet properly as the heatwave runs its course.

Glastonbury weather latest: Forecast for Pilton next week as heatwave hits UK

09:10 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

Glastonbury 2022 is less than a week away, with the iconic music festival set to go ahead after two years of pandemic-related cancellations.

Billie Eilish, Paul McCartney and Kendrick Lamar are headlining the weekend, with hundreds of other acts lined up across the festival’s many stages.

While the festival is taking place later this month, weather experts have already predicted what the weather is likely to be like in Worthy Farm during the five-day event.

Read more here:

Latest Glastonbury forecast as Met Office issues heatwave warning

Fire warning as temperatures today hit 34C

08:40 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

London Fire Brigade has warned people soaking up the sun in parks to be wary of the heat starting a fire.

In a Twitter post, the fire service advised people to “make sure to clear away bottles and any broken glass to avoid them magnifying the sun and starting a fire”.

The Brigade also reported that 50 square metres of grass was on fire in Rainham this week.

UK to swelter in 34C temperatures as warm spell turns to first heatwave of the year

08:10 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

The UK is set to swelter as temperatures climb up to 34C today, officially marking the first heatwave of the year as an early warm spell continues.

London, the southeast and possibly some parts of East Anglia are expected to be hottest, while most of England and Wales will see temperatures from 27-30C – hotter than parts of Jamaica and the Maldives.

Though Scotland will be cooler, southeastern parts of the country could see highs of 20C.

But health officials and experts have warned that vulnerable people such as the elderly and chronically ill are at risk in the hottest areas.

UK to swelter in 34C temperatures as warm spell turns to heatwave

Temperatures to reach 29C this morning

07:40 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

London is set to reach 29C by 11am this Friday morning, as the south braces for the hottest day of the year so far.

For Scotland and Northern Ireland, the morning will be met with rain and a cooler breeze.

Huge weather differences across UK with heat and showers

07:16 , Shweta Sharma

The UK is expected to witness a day of contrast with cooler and breezy weather in Scotland and Northern Ireland with rain moving southeast and scorching heat for most of England and Wales.

The Met Office said London and potentially some spots in East Anglia will witness 34C high, making it the hottest day of the year so far.

It would mostly dry evening with spells of summer sunshine in England and Wales, however, there are chances of a few showers by dawn in southern England.

On Saturday, Met Officer said a cooler day will prevail and there will be scattered showers across southern and central England which may be locally heavy.

Cloud will break across Scotland and some spells of sunshine will develop later and there will be some scattered showers in the western area.

US forest service admits to starting New Mexico wildfire nearly the size of greater London

07:00 , Liam James

One of the two blazes in New Mexico that combined to become the largest wildfire in the state was started by the US Forest Service (USFS), the agency has admitted (Vishwam Sankaran writes).

USFS said on Friday that the Calf Canyon fire started from a planned burn it set over the winter, but turned into a “sleeper fire,” that continued to smolder unnoticed.

It said the Calf Canyon Fire was caused by a “burn pile” of branches which the agency thought had burned out by 9 April, but later reignited ten days later on April 19 and escaped containment lines.

Then on April 22, the agency said a “wind event” led to the fire spreading significantly and the Calf Canyon Fire merging with the Hermits Peak Fire, which was reportedly also caused by an escaped planned burn.

The two blazes combined to torch over 312,320 acres (1263 square km) of mountain forests and valleys – nearly the size of greater London, destroying hundreds of homes.

US forest service admits to starting New Mexico fire nearly size of greater London

Climate change driving the record temperatures in UK, Met Office

06:59 , Shweta Sharma

The head of the Met Office National Climate Information Centre said climate change is driving the current heatwave and has increased the likelihood of more extreme weather.

Dr Mark McCarthy said: “Climate change has increased the average temperature of UK summers, and it is also increasing the likelihood of experiencing more extreme temperatures during hot spells and heatwaves.

“Reaching 34°C during June is a rare, but not unprecedented, event in the historical climate records for the UK. But if it should happen this week it would be notable that it would have occurred on three days during the last six Junes,” he said referring to 21 June 2017 and 29 June 2019.

Britain’s highest recorded temperature was in June 1976 when Southampton Mayflower Park hit 35.6C.

 (PA)
(PA)

Expensive sunscreens do not offer protection as against high street brands, says Which?

06:41 , Shweta Sharma

Expensive mineral-based sunscreens failed to pass testing standards for SPF and UVA and UVB protection, according to consumer group Which?.

The watchdog tested five mineral SPF30 products that claimed to offer a high level of protection, out of which three products failed to pass the tests.

It said one of the least effective was Clinique Mineral Sunscreen Lotion, which costs £26 for a 125 ml bottle as it barely provided a third of the claimed SPF level in tests.

But the fifth mineral sunscreen, Green People Scent Free Sun Cream SPF30 at £25.50 for 200ml, which also uses chemical UV filters, passed on SPF protection but failed when it came to blocking UVA rays.

However, most high street sunscreens, known as chemical-based sunscreens, work better because they use ingredients that absorb UV rays, whereas mineral sunscreens physically block ultraviolet radiation using ingredients such as titanium dioxide or zinc oxide.

Hawaiian Tropic and Clinique rejected the Which? findings. Green People said it was investigating further and Alba Botanica did not respond to requests for comment.

People sunbathe as they enjoy the hot weather on Bridlington beach in Yorkshire (PA)
People sunbathe as they enjoy the hot weather on Bridlington beach in Yorkshire (PA)

UK to swelter in 34C temperatures as warm spell turns to first heatwave of the year

06:15 , Shweta Sharma

The UK is set to swelter as temperatures climb up to 34C today, officially marking the first heatwave of the year as an early warm spell continues.

London, the southeast and possibly some parts of East Anglia are expected to be hottest, while most of England and Wales will see temperatures from 27-30C – hotter than parts of Jamaica and the Maldives.

Health officials and experts have warned that vulnerable people such as the elderly and chronically ill are at risk in the hottest areas.

Liam James brings you more details.

UK to swelter in 34C temperatures as warm spell turns to heatwave

Firefighters warn of increased risk of fire due to ‘reckless’ barbecues

06:02 , Shweta Sharma

Firefighters in the UK have warned of an increased risk of fires due to the spell of heatwaves.

London Fire Brigade (LFB) said it has already attended more than 1,430 grass and open land fires across the city this year.

The Brigade’s assistant commissioner for fire safety, Charlie Pugsley, said they are not against people enjoying the glorious weather but urged them to do so safely.

“Barbecuing on dry grass is reckless and can easily cause a really serious fire - damaging the immediate area and risking nearby properties.

"We’re also urging people to think twice about having barbecues on balconies.

"It’s easier than you might think for a balcony fire to spread to others, which could not only leave you homeless but displace hundreds of your neighbours too.

"We’re not trying to take the fun out of the heatwave, but for the sake of our city - and of our firefighters who have to work in sweltering temperatures to tackle these blazes - we’d really like people to take our advice on board.

"We’re asking the public to remain vigilant and call 999 as soon as they see any signs of smouldering grass."

UK to sizzle on hottest day of the year with scorching 34C

05:07 , Shweta Sharma

Parts of the UK are expected to witness sweltering temperatures of 34C (93.2F) as the hot spell of weather will reach its peak on Friday.

According to Met Office London and some spots in East Anglia are most likely to touch the 34C peak, making Friday one of the hottest days of the year so far.

Across most of England and Wales, the temperatures are expected to soar to 27C-30C.

On Thursday, the temperature in Northolt in west London surpassed the 2022 high of 28.2C after the heat touched 29.5C (85.1F) Thursday.

While England and Wales will bake in the heat on Friday, cooler temperatures will be recorded in Northern Ireland and Scotland which will see showers.

Meanwhile, firefighters are also warning that there is an increased risk of fires due to the heatwave.

Climate change made blistering heatwave in India and Pakistan ‘30 times more likely’

05:00 , Liam James

Human-induced climate change made the blistering heatwave gripping parts of India and Pakistan 30 times more likely, according to scientists (Saphora Smith writes).

India and Pakistan have been suffering from extreme heat on and off since March, which was the hottest in India since records began 122 years ago. Pakistan has also reported record temperatures.

Climate experts have repeatedly warned heatwaves are increasing in intensity and frequency across the world due to global heating, mainly caused by burning fossil fuels.

The increase in the likelihood of heatwaves is of concern because they are the deadliest extreme weather events and also damage crops and livelihoods.

Climate change made blistering heatwave in India and Pakistan ‘30 times more likely’

Speed restriction on trains and warning issued to car owners

04:50 , Shweta Sharma

While Network Rail has warned of very hot weather severely impacting the train services, Chiltern railway said speed restrictions will be imposed on trains until Saturday.

“Due to expected hot weather, speed restrictions will be imposed on the rail from today until Saturday 18th June inclusive,” Chiltern Railways spokesman said.

It added: “Services will be subject to delay and cancellations. Please check your journey before you travel.”

An urgent warning has also been issued to anyone stepping into their cars as the UK is expected to be scorched by soaring temperatures. RAC, UK’s leader breakdown service provider, warned of a “short sharp spike in breakdowns”.

It urged all drivers to check oil and coolant levels to avoid breakdowns. “Motorists who fail to do so could risk breaking down mid-journey and also face a fine if their vehicle is deemed in a dangerous condition,” it said.

Hottest day of the year confirmed for second day in a row ahead of 34C heatwave

03:00 , Liam James

Thursday has been confirmed the hottest day of the year so far, topping yesterday’s height by 1.1C.

The temperature hit 29.3C at Heathrow and Kew Gardens in London, the Met Office confirmed, as Britain’s hot spell continued.

Friday is expected to be hotter still with 34C forecast in the southeast and temperatures pushing up to 30C across much of England and Wales. A third day of temperatures above regional thresholds would mean the UK was experiencing a heatwave.

Health officials and experts have warned that the heat poses a danger to at-risk groups including the elderly and those with chronic health conditions including diabetes and Parkinson’s.

Hottest day of the year confirmed for second day in a row ahead of 34C heatwave

Ireland urges caution for outdoor swimmers as heat draws in

Friday 17 June 2022 00:30 , Liam James

In the current warm spell, many people will be looking to cool off in lakes and waterways.

Anticipating this, Water Safety Ireland, the Coast Guard and the RNLI issued a joint appeal for outdoor swimmers to be cautious.

Some 79 people drowned in 2021, up three from 2020 but below the annual average of 111 each year over the last decade. In total, 1,108 people drowned in the last 10 years.

Roger Sweeney, acting CEO at Water Safety Ireland, described the deaths as a “tragic unnecessary loss of life and a significant public health issue”.

“Drownings can happen quickly and silently and warmer weather sometimes lulls people into a false sense of security, however waterways are still quite cool which affects the muscles needed to swim safely back to shore,” he said.

“Swim at lifeguarded waterways or in designated bathing areas that are known to be safe and have ring buoys present. Stay within your depth, supervise children closely and never use inflatable toys on open water as you can be swept from shore in an instant.”

In Britain, Drowning Awareness Week will begin this Saturday. More than 400 accidentally drown in the UK and Ireland each year.

Forest fires burn nearly 4,000 acres of Spain amid heatwave

Thursday 16 June 2022 23:00 , Liam James

Three wildfires have laid waste to 3,950 acres of pines and bushes in eastern Spain since yesterday as a heatwave pushes temperatures close to record highs, regional firefighters said on Thursday.

Hundreds of firemen were on the ground battling the blazes with 120 trucks and a 19 aircraft to fight the flames near the towns of Baldomar, Corbera d’Ebre and Castellar Ribera, Catalonia’s regional fire department said.

Most efforts were focused on Baldomar, where flames threatened 20,000 hectares of woods and farmland. Some isolated houses were evacuated as was a child centre with 54 minors.

There have been no reports of deaths or injuries.

Large swathes of the country face high or extreme risk of wildfire, the state meteorological agency Aemet said.

Firefighters work to extinguish a wildfire near Artesa de Segre, Catalonia (Reuters)
Firefighters work to extinguish a wildfire near Artesa de Segre, Catalonia (Reuters)
An Air Tractor AT-802A firefighting plane drops water on a wildfire near Artesa de Segre in Catalonia (AFP/Getty)
An Air Tractor AT-802A firefighting plane drops water on a wildfire near Artesa de Segre in Catalonia (AFP/Getty)
Members of the Military Emergencies Unit work to extinguish a wildfire near Artesa de Segre, Catalonia (Reuters)
Members of the Military Emergencies Unit work to extinguish a wildfire near Artesa de Segre, Catalonia (Reuters)

Weather map: How hot where?

Thursday 16 June 2022 21:45 , Liam James

Take a look at the BBC’s weather map to see how what the temperature is expected to look like across Britain tomorrow.

Watch: Londoners bask in hot weather as temperatures reach 29C across capital

Thursday 16 June 2022 20:25 , Liam James

Britain’s hottest temperature of the year so far was recorded today in Greater London.

Both Heathrow and Kew Gardens in west London recorded 29.3C this afternoon.

Watch below how residents of the capital enjoyed the warm weather:

Power demand in Texas to break records during intense US heatwave

Thursday 16 June 2022 18:45 , Liam James

Power demand in Texas will likely set new all-time highs today and on Monday after breaking the prior record on 12 June as economic growth boosts overall use and homes and businesses keep air conditioners cranked up to escape a lingering heatwave.

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (Ercot), which operates the grid for more than 26 million customers representing about 90 per cent of the state’s power load, has said it has enough resources available to meet demand.

Temperatures in Houston, the biggest city in Texas, will mostly rise from 37.2 C today to 38.3C on Sunday, according to AccuWeather. That compares with a normal high of 33C for this time of year.

The central United States has been suffering a stifling heatwave this week. Millions of Americans who live in major cities such as Chicago, Detroit and Atlanta have been warned the heat could prove deadly.

Friday will be ‘exceptionally hot for this time of year'

Thursday 16 June 2022 17:48 , Liam James

Here’s the Met Office’s Alex Burkill putting the recent warm spell into context in a call with The Independent: “Temperatures are going to be much higher tomorrow at 34 possibly 35C, that's exceptionally hot for June, particularly this early in June.

“If you go back to the 60s we only have three instances where temperatures have exceeded 34C in June: 76, 2019 and 2017.

“So although we’ve had a few instances recently if you look back further it’s a much more rare event.

“It is going to be very hot on Friday and exceptionally hot for this time of year.”

Hottest day of the year confirmed for second day in a row

Thursday 16 June 2022 16:51 , Liam James

The Met Office has confirmed that today is the hottest day of the year so far, with temperatures of 29.3C being recorded at two points in London.

Friday is expected to be hotter still with 34C forecast in the southeast and temperatures pushing up to 30C across much of England and Wales.

Health officials have warned that the heat poses a danger to at-risk groups including the elderly and those with chronic health conditions including diabetes and Parkinson’s.

Hottest day of the year confirmed for second day in a row

A cooler weekend on its way after scorching temperatures

Thursday 16 June 2022 16:04 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

The heat is set to turn up a notch tomorrow as the temperatures are predicted to soar well into the 30s. But if the scorching heat isn’t for you, rest assured- a cool breeze will settle in for Saturday.

See more from the Met Office here:

UK heatwaves will become more deadly due to climate change, experts warn

Thursday 16 June 2022 15:45 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

Forecasters have warned that Friday could be a contender for the hottest June day on record with highs in parts of the south east approaching 34C (93F).

The unusally warm weather has led some experts to warn of the “serious” health implications the sweltering heat can bring.

Research associate Dr Mariam Zachariah, told The Independent the global implications of increasing heatwaves have grave consequences, but could also help people grapple with the magnitude of the climate crisis.

She said: “Heatwaves have direct implications for both health and food security, and therefore can help the public understand the impact of climate change.

Read more from our environment correspondent Harry Cockburn here:

Climate change to make UK heatwaves ‘more deadly’, as temperatures set to hit 34C

Explained: What is a heatwave?

Thursday 16 June 2022 15:24 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

While there is no denying the UK is experiencing a hot spell, can it be classed as a heatwave?

The Met Office defines a heatwave as “an extended period of hot weather relative to the expected conditions of the area at that time of year, which may be accompanied by high humidity”.

In the UK, hot weather can only be classed as a heatwave if it meets a daily maximum temperature consistently for three days in a row.

Here’s everything you need to know about heatwaves:

Explained: What is a heatwave?

Heatwave sparks growing concern for climate

Thursday 16 June 2022 14:55 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

On that note, experts have called for people to consider more seriously what the increasing heatwaves mean for the climate, as well as our health.

Prof Hannah Cloke, of the University of Reading, said:”Despite the official warnings, some people still underestimate the effects of heat and don’t change their plans to take it into account.

“We need to consider how people react to the current warnings, and continue to improve them. A warning system that people ignore is next to useless.

“Thousands of people already die due to excess heat in the UK, and climate change will only make heatwaves more frequent and more extreme in the future. Let’s not wait for people to die before we take heatwaves seriously.”

Dr Vikki Thompson, climate scientist at the University of Bristol Cabot Institute for the Environment, said: “Heatwaves are one of the most deadly natural hazards, in the UK 3,000 deaths were linked to heatwaves in 2021.

“The health issues related to heat include direct effects, such as heat stroke and cardiovascular failure, and indirect effects including poorer mental health and an increase in accidents such as car crashes and drownings.”

Experts warn of health risks heatwave poses

Thursday 16 June 2022 14:35 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

Experts have warned people of the dangers surrounding the hot weather.

Dr Radhika Khosla of the University of Oxford, said: “The health implications of rising temperatures in the UK are serious.

“Important physiological changes occur in response to high temperatures including changes in our circulatory, nervous and respiratory systems.

“When these adaptive measures are not enough, the risk of cardiopulmonary and cardiovascular problems increases among older adults, young children, people with chronic conditions, athletes and outdoor workers.

“Severe heat disrupts sleep, impairs cognitive performance and is associated with increased risk of suicide or hospital admission for mental illness.”

Jason Kelly, deputy chief meteorologist at the Met Office said the “unusual” weather means temperatures are expected to be in the high teens or even low twenties overnight.

Dr Mark McCarthy, head of the Met Office National Climate Information Centre, said: “Reaching 34C during June is a rare, but not unprecedented, event in the historical climate records for the UK.

“But if it should happen this week it would be notable that it would have occurred on three days during the last six Junes.”

Pollen levels remain high as hot spell continues

Thursday 16 June 2022 14:15 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

The Met Office has posted a pollen forecast, which sees very high levels across England and Wales.

Scotland and Northen Ireland are on medium to high, as hayfever sufferers will still feel the affects of grass and nettle pollen.

Don’t forget your SPF, Met Office warns

Thursday 16 June 2022 13:50 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

If you’re out soaking in the sun today, then keep your sunscreen close by.

The Met Office posted a reminder on Twitter to make sure sunseekers protect their skin as they head out in the heat.

A hot end to the week in store

Thursday 16 June 2022 13:27 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

A Met Office forecaster has said many parts of the UK can look forward to highs of mid-20s to early 30s as a “a huge ploom of continental heat” is felt across Western Europe, sweeping over to Britain.

The best British beaches, chosen by the travel desk

Thursday 16 June 2022 12:53 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

As temperatures of 30C scorch the UK, The Independent’s travel desk pick the best beaches Britain has to offer. Here are their top 10 British beaches:

The best British beaches, chosen by the travel desk

Lunch in the sun

Thursday 16 June 2022 12:20 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

Lunchtime is upon us, so whether you take an early break or a late lunch, you won’t miss out on the sun!

For Scotland and Northern Ireland, there will be some dry spells between outbreaks of rain.

Dorset seaside closed as traders lose out on heatwave business surge

Thursday 16 June 2022 12:01 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

Traders in a seaside resort have slammed officials for closing their beach in the middle of the heatwave.

The sandy beach in Lyme Regis, Dorset, should be teeming with tourists this week as the temperature soars to above 30C.

But instead the seafront lies empty of bathers as the local council has scheduled dredging works to take place for the whole of this week.

The beach has been closed completely to the public since Monday and will not re-open until Friday evening.

Local businesses that rely on tourists have called the timing ridiculous and said it is affecting trade.

Audrey Bellacott, of The Beach House Cafe, said: “We think it’s extremely badly timed and it’s affecting every business along the sea front.

“The gunge they are bringing out of the harbour is black and horrible.

“I don’t know why they have chosen to do it in the middle of June. People aren’t bringing their kids because there’s nowhere for them to play.

A spokesman for Dorset Council said: “Dorset Council is carrying out the annual dredging works in the harbour and we plan to re-open the majority of the sand beach this Friday ahead of the weekend.

“All other beaches in Lyme Regis will remain open during the works, including the pebble section of Front Beach, Monmouth Beach, Church Cliff Beach and East Beach.

“Obviously we cannot predict when a heatwave will occur, but we had already revised our scheduled works at Lyme Regis to avoid disrupting the local Queen’s Jubilee celebrations during half term.”

Arctic warming at ‘exceptional’ rate seven times faster than global average

Thursday 16 June 2022 11:33 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

While the hot weather this week has been a treat for Brits, the heatwave signifies the global warming trend that is a serious cause of concern for the climate.

Now, new data has revealed that the Arctic is heating up seven times faster than the global average.

Researchers have found this heating in the North Barents Sea- a crucial region where increasing temperatures may cause extreme weather in North America, Europe and Asia.

Branded an “unprecedented increase” by scientists, the region’s temperature has risen by 2.7C per decade, with a maximum in autumn of up to 4C per decade.

This makes the North Barents Sea the most rapidly warming place known on earth.

Read more here:

Arctic warming at ‘exceptional’ rate seven times faster than global average

What is a heatwave?

Thursday 16 June 2022 11:06 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

The Met Office defines a heatwave as “an extended period of hot weather relative to the expected conditions of the area at that time of year, which may be accompanied by high humidity”.

The UK experiences occasional heatwaves but these are of a lesser frequency and intensity of those seen elsewhere around the world.

In the UK, hot weather can only be classed as a heatwave if it meets a daily maximum temperature consistently for three days in a row.

Will heatwaves wake us up to the impact of the climate crisis?

Thursday 16 June 2022 10:26 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

After a dry spring, this week parts of Spain are facing a deadly heatwave – the earliest such occurence in 40 years, with red alert warnings of temperatures reaching 50C.

The rising temperatures mean scientists are now desperately concerned about global inaction on tackling the climate crisis – and the lack of planning for extreme weather events.

In Spain, concern has spilled out of the research institutions and onto the streets. In April, thousands of scientists demonstrated, asking to be heard and launching actions of non-violent civil disobedience, our environment correspondent Harry Cockburn writes.

Analysis: Will heatwaves wake us up to the impact of the climate crisis?

Met Office issues weather alert for Friday and Saturday

Thursday 16 June 2022 10:09 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

A three-day heat alert has been issued as temperatures are set to rocket to 34C.

The warning covers parts of England from midnight on Friday until midnight on Sunday.

NHS England and the Met Office have issued a level two heat-health alert for the East Midlands, east of England, the southeast and the southwest, meaning there is a 60 per cent chance of heatwave during this period.

A level one warning covers parts of northern England, where the probability of heatwave conditions is 30 per cent, while there is a 40 per cent chance in the West Midlands.

Met Office deputy chief meteorologist Dan Rudman said: “Temperatures will continue to rise as we go through the week, becoming well above-average by Friday when many parts of the southern half of the UK are likely to exceed 30C and may even reach 34C in some places.

My colleague Chiara Giordano has more:

Weather forecast: Heatwave hits UK as Met Office issues alert for Friday and Saturday

Weather map: How hot where?

Thursday 16 June 2022 21:11 , Liam James

Take a look at the BBC’s weather map to see what temperature to expect where you are.

Tarmac melting under strong sun

Thursday 16 June 2022 09:35 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

The hot weather forced police to close a road for two hours yesterday afternoon because the tarmac began melting.

Gritters normally used on snow-covered winters roads had to be called out.

The road re-opened after two hours when temperatures began to fall last night but with even hotter weather forecast, motorists fear more closures today and tomorrow.

Drivers fuming in the heat had to find alternative routes and huge queues built up.

Suffolk Police said the busy A140 had to be shut temporarily because it had become ‘unsafe’.

They feared cars would slip and slide on the treacly surface and crash into each other.

A Suffolk Highways spokesman said “Some issues have been identified with the road surface along the A140 which have been made worse by the hot weather.

“Our teams are working to maintain traffic flow, by applying grit to the road and placing ‘20mph’ and ‘uneven road surface’ signs to warn road users.

“Additional works will take place next week to repair any damaged areas of road surface. We apologise for any inconvenience this may be causing.”

How to sleep during a heatwave, according to experts

Thursday 16 June 2022 09:10 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

If the sudden surge of hot weather stopped you from getting a good snooze last night, here are some expert tips on how to sleep well during a heatwave.

From putting your bedding in the freezer to eating spicy food before bed, there’s plenty you can do to make sure you don’t spend another night tossing and turning!

My colleague Sarah Young takes you through 20 tips:

How to sleep during a heatwave, according to experts

A sizzling Thursday afternoon

Thursday 16 June 2022 08:35 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

Highs of 28C are expected this afternoon in the south of England as the heat turns up a notch in time for Friday’s 34C spell.

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