UK hotter than Sahara as hottest day of the year declared

It’s official, today is the hottest day of the year as the mercury soared to 30.7C at Heathrow Airport this morning. And temperatures were set to rise to around 34C in parts of London and the South East of England.

The Met Office’s provisional figures showed the heat beating 2022’s previous high of 29.5C in Northold, West London. The all-time temperature record for the UK sits at 38.7C, recorded at Cambridge University on July 25, 2019, Mirror Online reports.

Today’s heat blast makes parts of the UK hotter than the Sahara, with temperatures in Dakhla, Western Sahara, struggling to get above 23C.

Met Office Deputy Chief Meteorologist, Jason Kelly, said; “The heat is a result of a mix of home-grown warming due to a high pressure over the southern half of the UK, as well as a south westerly airflow bringing warm air, which has been over the continent through the week, across the country.

“This is the first spell of hot weather this year and it is unusual for temperatures to exceed these values ​​in June. Some areas may see warm nights with minimum temperatures expected to be in the high teens or even low 20°Cs overnight, especially in urban areas such as London.”


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On Thursday, the mercury rose above 20C in all four home nations, with temperatures almost reaching 30C in southeast England. The sizzling weather isn’t set to last too long with today expected to be the peak. A mix of cloud and showers sweeping parts of the UK is due to follow over the weekend.

The BBC’s Helen Willetts said the hot weather building across the UK stemmed from parts of the Spanish plateau, where temperatures have been topping 40C over the last week. That warm weather has then made its way across to France, with the nation bracing itself for the earliest heatwave on record.

“Some of that heat is being tapped into and pushing north across the UK,” she added.

Bournemouth was gridlocked early morning as swathes of beachgoers swarmed the Dorset town, leading to all car parks sold out by 11.30am. The weather has been so hot that Royal Ascot even relaxed its dress code, with racegoers also allowed to take their own water and soft drinks.

Meanwhile, firefighters are warning that there is an increased risk of fires due to the heatwave and have urged the public to remain vigilant.

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.”

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