Temperatures have hit a record high for Britain amid the sweltering heatwave, the Met Office said.
The provisional temperature of 39.1°C in Charlwood, Surrey, beats the previous national record of 38.7°C set in Cambridge in July 2019.
However, the record is unlikely to last for long as the Met Office forecast temperatures of up to 41C in some parts of eastern England on Tuesday.
Much of England and Wales is under a “red” extreme heat warning until the end of Tuesday, with the heat causing disruption to transport networks and the risk of serious health effects.
It comes after Britain experienced its warmest night on record on Monday, when extreme heat pushed temperatures into the mid-20s in some areas.
Rail services were severely disrupted on Tuesday, with no services to or from London Kings Cross all day, no Thameslink or Great Northern trains north of London and very limited services on the East Midlands Railway.
There are also very limited and disrupted services to and from London Euston, on the Avanti West Coast and West Midlands Railway and London Marylebone on the Chiltern Railways, as well as temporary speed restrictions given the risk of rail buckling.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps acknowledged that Britain’s transport network could not cope with the extreme heat and said rail and road problems during such heat waves would persist for decades.
Climate change is making heat waves more extreme, more frequent and more likely, and experts warn Britain must adapt homes, hospitals, schools and transport networks to a future of scorching heat.
Much of Europe is also burning in record-breaking heat, leading to wildfires in a number of countries.
The High Court in central London was closed to visitors on Tuesday due to temperatures and an air conditioning fault, while many schools remained closed for a second day amid extreme temperatures.
On the roads, figures released by location technology company TomTom suggested commuters are heeding warnings not to travel unless necessary, as traffic congestion was lower in several cities as of 9am on Tuesday than at the same time in the United States last week.
A spokesman for the East of England Ambulance Service said the service had detailed plans to deal with the extremely hot weather.
He added: “We’ve been seeing above-average call numbers since Monday afternoon.
“The demand for our service is very high and even if the temperatures drop, we still expect the impact of heat-related illnesses until the weekend.
“During this time of hot weather, please continue to follow directions and only call 999 for life-threatening emergencies,” he urged.
Met Office meteorologist Annie Shuttleworth said it was “extremely unusual” to see temperatures in the 30s during the UK morning rush hour.
She said the high overnight temperatures made for a very warm start to the day, adding: “We’re seeing the maximum temperatures somewhere between 40 and 41C and that appears to be in the Lincolnshire and Yorkshire region.”
Brits have been urged to stay indoors and wear sunscreen and a hat, stay in the shade and drink water during the hottest part of the day between 11am and 4pm – and there are warnings against swimming in lakes, rivers and reservoirs .
The Met Office has also issued an amber warning of heavy showers and thunderstorms over much of south-east and east England, which could cause disruption on Wednesday afternoon as temperatures drop to their current scorching highs.
https://www.independent.ie/weather/uk-temperatures-hit-record-high-of-391c-41851138.html UK temperatures hit a record high of 39.1C