Britain sets record temperature before noon

Britain broke its record for the highest temperature on record on Tuesday, with a provisional reading of 39.1C, according to the country’s meteorological office – and the heat is only expected to rise.

Tuesday’s record was in Charlwood, England. The highest temperature previously recorded in Britain was 38.7C, a record just set in 2019.

Millions of people in Britain woke up to the hottest night in the country on Tuesday. The Met Office said provisional figures showed the temperature staying above 25C overnight in parts of the country for the first time.

Met Office forecaster Rachel Ayers said Tuesday’s highs would be « unprecedented ».

“The temperature will be very hot throughout the day before rising to 40°C, possibly even 41°C in isolated places, across England during the afternoon,” he said. she declared.

Much of England, from London in the south to Manchester and Leeds in the north, is under the country’s first ‘extreme’ heat warning, meaning there is life-threatening danger even for healthy people .

WATCH | “Unprecedented event”: few regions of Great Britain spared by the heat wave:

UK issues first extreme heat warning as temperatures reach record highs

Parts of the UK are under an extreme heat warning for the first time. The scorching temperatures paralyzed much of the country – which was unaccustomed to such high temperatures.

Britain’s Supreme Court has been closed to visitors after an air conditioning problem forced it to move hearings online. The British Museum had planned to close earlier. Many public buildings, including hospitals, are not air-conditioned, showing how unusual such extreme heat is in the country, best known for rain and mild temperatures.

Many train routes not in service

The temperature hit 38.1C in Santon Downham in eastern England on Monday, just below the highest temperature on record.

Average July temperatures in the UK range from a daily high of 21°C to a nighttime low of 12°C, and few homes or small businesses have air conditioning.

WATCH | Half of humanity ‘in danger zone’ for extreme weather, says UN chief:


UN issues dire warning as extreme heat and wildfires ravage Europe

As wildfires fueled by extreme heat rage in France, Spain, Italy and Greece, the UN chief issued a dire warning at a meeting on climate change in Berlin: take a collective action now, or risk « collective suicide ».

Many people coped with the heatwave by staying put. Road traffic was down from its usual levels on Monday. Trains were running at low speed for the sake of warping rails, or not running at all.

London Luton Airport had to close its runway due to heat damage. The airport said on Tuesday it was « fully operational » but warned that a number of rail lines to the city were out of service due to the heat.

London’s Kings Cross station, one of the country’s busiest rail hubs, was empty on Tuesday, with no trains on the busy East Coast line linking the capital to the north and Scotland.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said Britain’s transport infrastructure, some of which dates back to Victorian times, « simply wasn’t built to withstand this kind of weather – and it will be many years before that we can replace infrastructure with the kind of infrastructure that could. »

Deadly consequences in the UK and Europe

At least five people have reportedly drowned across the UK in rivers, lakes and reservoirs trying to cool off.

Climate experts warn that global warming has increased the frequency of extreme weather events, with studies showing the likelihood of UK temperatures hitting 40C is now 10 times higher than in pre-industrial times. Drought and heat waves linked to climate change have also made wildfires more difficult to fight.

Unusually hot and dry weather has gripped large swaths of Europe since last week, sparking wildfires from Portugal to the Balkans and leading to hundreds of heat-related deaths.

In the Gironde region of southwestern France, ferocious wildfires continued to spread through dry pine forests, frustrating the firefighting efforts of more than 2,000 firefighters and aircraft water bombers.

More than 37,000 people have been evacuated from homes and summer vacation spots since the fires broke out on July 12 and burned 190 square kilometers of forest and vegetation, Gironde authorities said.

A third smaller fire broke out on Monday evening in the Médoc wine region north of Bordeaux, further taxing firefighting resources. Five campsites caught fire in the area of ​​the beaches of the Atlantic coast where fires raged around the maritime basin of Arcachon famous for its oysters and its seaside resorts.

But the weather forecast offered some consolation, with scorching temperatures expected to ease along the Atlantic coast on Tuesday and the possibility of rain late in the day.


Back to top button