The hottest day of the year officially declared Britain hotter than the Sahara

The temperature officially hit 30.7C at Heathrow today as a heatwave health alert was issued to protect the NHS, with temperatures continuing to rise in parts of the country

The hottest day of the year is officially confirmed
The hottest day of the year is officially confirmed

The hottest day of the year has been officially confirmed as Britons sizzled in scorching temperatures.

The temperature reached 30.7C at Heathrow at 11am today, according to preliminary figures from the Met Office.

It topped the previous high of 29.5C set in Northolt, west London, yesterday.

Today’s temperatures are expected to rise further in some parts of the country today, with temperatures around London and the south east potentially exceeding 34C.

The all-time temperature record for the UK is 38.7°C, measured at Cambridge University on 25 July 2019.

Today’s scorching weather is making parts of the UK hotter than the Sahara, with temperatures struggling to climb above 23C in Dakhla, Western Sahara.

The Met Office’s deputy chief meteorologist Jason Kelly said: “The heat is the result of a mix of indigenous warming due to high pressure over the southern half of the UK, as well as a south-westerly airflow bringing warm air blowing across the continent throughout the week was bring land across the continent.

Staff member David Jimenez sets up an umbrella at the London Fields Lido in Hackney, east London June 17 as people head into the water early in the morning to cool off



“This is the first hot spell this year and it is unusual for temperatures to exceed these levels in June. Some areas can experience warm nights with overnight lows in the high teens or even low 20C, particularly in urban areas like London.”

Brits are also being warned about very high pollen levels and high UV levels, with people being told to take extra care if they are outdoors for any length of time.

On Thursday, mercury rose above 20C in all four home countries, with temperatures reaching nearly 30C in south-east England.

That was trumped today as some Britons were set to sunbathe in temperatures approaching 34C.

The hot weather will not last for long, with today expected to peak. A mix of clouds and showers sweeping across parts of Britain is expected to follow over the weekend.

Weather map for June 17th


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The BBC’s Helen Willetts explained that hot weather across the UK is coming from parts of the Spanish plateau where temperatures have topped 40C in the last week.

That warm weather then found its way to France, where the nation is preparing for the earliest heatwave on record.

“Some of that heat is being tapped and pushing north across Britain,” she explained.

Crowds on Bournemouth beach


Corin Messer/BNPS)

An NHS heatwave health alert was also issued today for parts of the UK.

The level 3 warning applies to London, the east of England and the south-east.

The alert is being tabled to try to protect the NHS, with UKHSA’s Agostinho Sousa telling BBC Breakfast: “The Level 3 alert is operational and is being called ‘Heatwave Action’. It is intended to inform our partners that they should prepare their services for possible increases in demand due to temperature increases.

“We also have a Level 2 which is currently active in the south west and east of England which is intended to inform our partners that they should prepare their services should they need to take action should we see a rise in temperature.

“At the moment the situation is stable and we expect temperatures to drop tomorrow.”

Thousands have soaked up the rays and rushed to the beaches to make the most of the scorching temperatures, and lidos across London are also teeming with swimmers.

Bournemouth was bogged down early this morning as throngs of beachgoers flooded the town of Dorset, resulting in all car parks being sold out by 11.30am.

The weather was so hot that Royal Ascot even relaxed its dress code, allowing racegoers to bring their own water and soft drinks.

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

The Brits are making the most of the scorching temperatures


The London Fire Brigade (LFB) said it had taken part in more than 1,430 grass and open land fires across the city this year, including grassland, canal and riverbank vegetation, shrubland, parks, playgrounds, crops and woodland.

About 350 of these were in home gardens, and LFB said there are fears that prolonged heat spells could see those numbers rise.

In the last five years, London firefighters have tackled nearly 600 fires using barbecues, 45 of which have been on private balconies.

The brigade’s assistant fire safety officer, Charlie Pugsley, said: “We want people to enjoy the glorious weather and to do so safely.

“Grilling on dry grass is reckless and can easily start a really serious fire – damaging the immediate area and endangering nearby properties.

“We’re also asking people to think twice about grilling on the balcony.”

Beaches across the UK have lifted


UK forecast for the next 5 days


Rain over Scotland is easing this morning as it moves south, followed by sunny spells and some showers. Windy with strong north winds. Dry and increasingly sunny further south and falling hot or very hot.

This evening:

Clouds and patchy light rain are descending southward over England and Wales, but southern areas are dry and muggy. Much cooler north with clear periods. Windy over northern Scotland with showers.


Cloudy in central and southern regions with outbursts of thunderstorm rain, becoming heavy for a while. The extreme south is likely to remain dry and hot with hazy sunshine. cooler in the northwest.

Outlook for Sunday to Tuesday:

Rain in the far south on Sunday, partly heavy. Showers in the north, otherwise sunny. Many southern areas will be dry Monday and Tuesday, but rain is spreading northwest.

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