UK heatwave: Wales hits highest ever temperature as England inches towards 43C record - The Telegraph

  1. UK heatwave: Wales hits highest ever temperature as England inches towards 43C record  The Telegraph
  2. Extreme UK weather live: minister answers urgent question on heatwave as Wales provisionally hits record 35.3C in Gogerddan, near Aberystwyth  The Guardian
  3. Heatwave: It's Wales hottest day ever as temperature hits 35.3C  BBC
  4. When the heatwave will end as North Wales top temperature tipped to hit 37C  North Wales Live
  5. Wales records hottest temperature in country's record  Metro.co.uk


The evening rush hour was thrown into chaos as Britain's railways buckled under the record-breaking "red-alert" heatwave. 

Commuters faced swathes of cancellations and delays at major stations, with huge crowds piling up at London St Pancras, trains axed at most London terminals and hold-ups of more than an hour in Cardiff and Edinburgh. 

Some 2,000 services out of 12,800 across the UK were either more than 30 minutes late or axed entirely on Monday, official figures seen by The Telegraph show. Just 67 per cent were within ten minutes of being on time.

Meanwhile, 11 out of London's 15 Tube lines faced minor or severe delays or suspensions from 6pm. 

All flights were halted for two hours at London Luton Airport after a "runway defect" in the sweltering weather, sparking delays of up to four hours and diversions to Stansted. 

Flights at RAF Brize Norton, the RAF's largest air base, were also grounded after the Tarmac melted. 

Britain's hottest day of the year saw 38.1C recorded in Suffolk, and forecasters are predicting up to 43C on Tuesday, which would be an all-time UK record. 

That's all for now

Thanks for following our live updates. We'll be back in the morning, on what could be Britain's hottest day on record.

In the meantime, stay cool on what's poised to be a warm night. 

Even hotter tomorrow... will it be an all-time UK record?

Major rail delays and cancellations at double their usual level

"Very late" trains and cancellations are running at double their normal level as the heatwave takes its toll, Network Rail has said. 

Some 2,000 services out of 12,800 were either more than half an hour late or axed entirely between midnight and 7pm today, official figures seen by The Telegraph show. 

A further 2,000 were between five and 30 minutes late. 

Just 67 per cent of all rail services in the UK arrived within five minutes of schedule, or within ten minutes on long-haul lines, as of 7pm. 

On a normal day this figure - the public performance measure (PPM) - would be near 90 per cent.

The top temperatures across the UK on Monday

More natural ventilation needed in buildings, says MP

The UK needs to "adapt" to the changing climate with more natural ventilation, a Conservative former minister said.

Sir Christopher Chope, the MP for Christchurch, told the Commons: "Isn't the key issue here that we should adapt to our climate as we have done in the past?

"And isn't there a real problem now that too many buildings are being built without natural ventilation, for example any of the buildings on this estate?

"Why don't we go back to having natural ventilation, and not having to rely so much upon air conditioning?"

The Cabinet Office minister Kit Malthouse replied: "One of the critical things that we need to bear in mind is this period of hot weather will be short. It will be 36 hours long."

Warm night ahead

The Met Office is also warning that temperatures overnight into Tuesday are holding up in the low 20s and possible mid-20s in isolated places, and it looks likely to be the warmest night on record in the UK.

Met Office meteorologist Luke Miall said: "I've been a qualified meteorologist for 10 years, and telling people about 41C in the UK doesn't seem real.

"It's crazy how we are talking about these sorts of values, I've never seen the models coming up with these values.

"It's been quite an eye-opener to climate change with all these temperatures in the UK."

Latest pictures as Britain basks in heatwave

Ronya Assady leaps into the River Cam as the temperatures rise in Cambridge
Ronya Assady leaps into the River Cam as the temperatures rise in Cambridge CREDIT: LEON NEAL/GETTY IMAGES
Sun worshippers bring out a paddling pool in a park in central London
Sun worshippers bring out a paddling pool in a park in central London CREDIT: ANDY RAIN/EPA-EFE/SHUTTERSTOCK
A man shares a swim with the red deer in south-west London's Busy Park
A man shares a swim with the red deer in south-west London's Busy Park CREDIT: DAVID SANDISON

Luton airport's website is the latest heatwave casualty 

London Luton Airport's website has collapsed after a surge in demand from the heatwave runway closure. 

Passengers trying to find out online how long their flight is delayed, or relatives checking whether flights have been diverted elsewhere, face a wait of 20 minutes just to access the website. 

Luton's runway was shut to all flights on Monday afternoon after the runway suffered under the heat, sparking travel chaos. 

The website now says: "We are experiencing a high volume of traffic and using a virtual queue to limit the amount of users on the website at the same time. This will ensure you have the best possible online experience."

Rush hour chaos on the rails

Commuters who braved the heatwave this morning are facing lengthy delays to get home on the railway. 

As you can see below, train terminals across the country are currently seeing mass cancellations during the evening rush hour. 

Network Rail had urged passengers to "only travel if absolutely necessary" during the red extreme heat warning.

Cardiff Central: 

cardiff central live departures
CREDIT: NATIONAL RAIL

Edinburgh:  

edinburgh live departures
CREDIT: NATIONAL RAIL

Manchester Piccadilly:

manchester piccadilly live departures
CREDIT: NATIONAL RAIL

Two acres of London parkland on fire

Some 60 firefighters are battling a grass fire in a south-east London park. 

London Fire Brigade said "around two acres of shrubland is alight" on Woolwich Common. 

Eight fire engines and 60 firefighters are in attendance. 

Authorities had warned the public not to leave disposable BBQs, cigarettes or glass bottles in parks on Monday and Tuesday because of the risk of blazes. 

Latest: Luton Airport reopens after two-hour runway closure

London Luton Airport's runway has just reopened after a melting runway halted all flights for two hours. 

The airport said in a statement it was now "fully operational" for departures and arrivals. 

It was shut while engineers carried out urgent repairs to a "runway defect". 

However, there are now delays of up to four hours that are likely to cause chaos for the rest of the day. 

luton airport runway

Fears for scorched plants at Kew Gardens

Rainforest plants housed in Kew Gardens could be scorched as temperatures soar close to 40C, one of its executives has said.

"A building like the Palm House doesn't have structural shading or anything of that sort, so scorching is a possibility," Richard Barley, Kew's director of gardens said. 

"If there's no cloud cover and if the air temperature is high and there's sunshine in mid-summer conditions, we can get leaf scorch, particularly of plants that have their foliage up close to the glass.

"Usually, the plants will withstand reasonably high temperatures, although if they got to be extreme, we'd be in uncharted territory."

Flights suspended from melting RAF Brize Norton

The Royal Air Force has now issued a statement after shutting the runway at its largest air base in the UK on Monday. 

Flights have been grounded at Brize Norton airfield in Oxfordshire.

An RAF spokesman said: "During this period of extreme temperature flight safety remains our top priority, so aircraft are using alternative airfields in line with a long established plan.

"This means there is no impact on RAF operations."

New high temperature of 38.1C confirmed

The hottest UK temperature recorded so far on Monday has now topped 38C, as the record of the hottest day ever edges closer. 

The Met Office confirmed the mercury hit 38.1C at 4pm in Santon Downham, Suffolk.

Currently, the record temperature in the UK is 38.7C, set in Cambridge in 2019.

Monday is already Britain's hottest day of the year. 

Large wildfire in Birmingham country park

A wildfire has broken out in a country park near Birmingham as the mercury soars. 

Firefighters are trying to bring the blaze at Lickey Hills Country Park near Birmingham, under control, and have asked residents to shut their doors and windows.

Around 400 sq metres of land near the golf course is "well alight", the West Midlands Fire and Rescue Service said. 

Latest pictures: Britain sizzles

It's umbrellas at the ready for scorching sun, not rain, in London
It's umbrellas at the ready for scorching sun, not rain, in London CREDIT: ANADOLU AGENCY VIA GETTY IMAGES
Portable fans are proving handy for some Londoners
Portable fans are proving handy for some Londoners CREDIT: ANADOLU AGENCY VIA GETTY IMAGES
Meanwhile in Falmouth, England, the sun worshippers are out in force
Meanwhile in Falmouth, England, the sun worshippers are out in force CREDIT: HUGH HASTINGS/GETTY IMAGES

Ice cream vans treat NHS workers

NHS staff were given free ice cream to help them battle the soaring temperatures.

Organised by several independent groups, ice cream vans have parked up outside hospitals and medical centres across various areas in the UK to offer workers some relief from the heat.

Dr Ijlal Haider, a consultant general surgeon at George Eliot Hospital in Nuneaton, Warwickshire, said the gesture was "totally unexpected" and helped to lift the "the rather dispirited morale amongst staff".

The East Midlands branch of Unison, the union, and Alder Hey Children's NHS Foundation Trust were among those to draft in local ice cream vans.

'The road is melting beneath us' 

A Lincolnshire police officer says that he has seen one of the county's roads melting whilst attending a collision following road surface temperatures of over 50C being recorded in the county. 

Sergeant Mike Templeman, from Lincolnshire Police, said he was dealing with a single vehicle collision on the A159near Blyton which ended with no injuries.

But he said that "the road is starting to melt under us", urging the public to "drive carefully". 

Travel chaos: Delays pile up at Luton as melting runway is shut

A quick look at London Luton Airport's departure board right now shows the frustration among passengers will be as hot as the melting runway outside. 

Every flight is currently delayed by up to four hours as urgent repairs are carried out on the over-heating runway, with all departures grounded. 

For instance, the 3.20pm Wizz Air departure to Constanta, flight W93776, is now delayed until 5.30pm. 

It's even bleaker for the 3.30pm departure to Athens, now delayed until 8.10pm. 

Meanwhile, the 3.55pm Tui departure to Corfu has been pushed back to almost 6pm. 

Rail delays as track goes wonky in heat

We're seeing rail delays start mount at certain major London transport hubs as the heatwave takes its toll on the tracks, with mass speed restrictions in place. 

This was the scene in Vauxhall, south London, on the main route into London Waterloo earlier today where the track reached 48C and buckled. 

In pictures: Chaos for passengers as Luton airport runway melts

Flights are heavily delayed at the airport as repairs are carried out
Flights are heavily delayed at the airport as repairs are carried out CREDIT: BBC TV
Luton's runway has been closed while workers fix the melting
Luton's runway has been closed while workers fix the melting CREDIT: BBC TV
Flights are now delayed at Luton for up to two hours
Flights are now delayed at Luton for up to two hours CREDIT: BBC TV

Breaking: London Luton Airport runway melting

Wales smashes its record temperature... which was set earlier today

It's the hottest day ever recorded in Wales, the Met Office says.

The provisional record high of 35.3C earlier at Gogerddan, Aberystwyth, has now soared to 37.1C at Hawarden in Flintshire, in north-east Wales. 

PM 'planning parties' while heatwave rages

Boris Johnson is too busy "planning parties" instead of dealing with the heatwave, according to Labour. 

The shadow Cabinet Office minister Fleur Anderson told the Commons: "Once again, when faced by a national emergency driven by the climate emergency, which they could see coming a mile off, ministers were asleep at the wheel.

"The Prime Minister is too busy planning parties instead of planning for Britain. Is anyone else having deja vu?"

Mr Johnson held a party at Chequers, the grace-and-favour country 16th century manor house, at the weekend.  

"The Prime Minister has already missed two Cobra meetings, as has been acknowledged, on the red heat warning and is set to miss a third - the same man who missed five Cobra meetings in the weeks preceding the onset of the pandemic," Ms Anderson said. 

"This finished Prime Minister has already clocked off, it's clear, but with 49 dangerous days to go."

Power stations instructed to have enough capacity for evening surge

A notice to power stations was briefly issued on Monday afternoon to remind them they must ensure they have enough megawatts available for an expected surge in electricity demand this evening.

The capacity market notice (CMN) was withdrawn within an hour, and the operator of Great Britain's electricity system said it is confident there is enough available.

National Grid ESO, which covers England, Scotland and Wales, said: "Earlier today a capacity market notice (CMN) was triggered by the automated system and cancelled shortly afterwards.

"This was due to a combination of factors including high exports, low wind, planned plant maintenance outages, higher than usual demand and a small reduction in gas generation.

"CMNs are automated and do not take into account all the factors which our engineers are working on.

"Based on current assessments and submitted data the ESO is confident that electricity margins are sufficient."

Emergency services seeing increase in volume of calls

Health Secretary Steve Barclay said the emergency services are already starting to see an increased volume of calls.

Following a meeting of the Cobra emergency committee he said: "We're seeing an increase in calls and the extra resource we have put in place is to manage that.

"But there's also a time lag in the data because the highest point of the expected heatwave is actually going to be tomorrow afternoon.

"So that's the point of maximum concern, but we're seeing an increase in calls. That's why we put more call handlers in place. It's why we put additional funding in - an extra £150 million for the ambulance service, a further £50 million for 111, and indeed other support such as £30 million for auxiliary ambulances. So extra resource has been put in place.

"The contingency plans, that are well established, have been activated. And we're meeting regularly with NHS leaders, with ambulance chief executives, to closely monitor the impacts, and particularly the handover times, so we can mitigate those with the increased pressure they're facing."

Runway at RAF Brize Norton 'melts' - Sky

The RAF has halted flights in and out of its largest air base in the UK because the "runway has melted" in the hot weather, according to a military source, Sky News report.

The decision to shut the runway at the sprawling Brize Norton base in Oxfordshire was taken on Monday morning. 

Contingency plans have been implemented to ensure there is no impact on military operations, a second RAF source said. 

The second source confirmed that the runway had been affected by the heat but did not say it had physically melted. 

Runways can be deemed unsafe to use when the tarmac becomes sticky under the sun. 

95 per cent chance England breaks temperature record

Car bursts into flames in Dorset

One tourist had a lucky escape after their car overheated and burst into flames as it queued to get into a busy beach car park today.

The silver Ford people carrier vehicle suddenly caught alight outside the entrance to the car park for Durdle Door in Dorset.

It had queued for about 30 minutes before flames erupted from the engine bay. A witness said the occupants ran out of the blazing vehicle to safety.

The emergency caused visitors to have to wait to get into and leave the car park for the popular beauty spot.

Fire crews arrived on the scene after about 10 minutes and dealt with the inferno.

Water mains bursts in London

A burst water main has flooded streets in south-west London as temperatures soared across the UK.

Around 70 firefighters and 10 fire engines responded to the scene on Galsworthy Road in Kingston upon Thames on Monday morning, alongside the police. Footage shared on social media shows flooding on several roads which have been closed nearby.

Thames Water has said the broken 30-inch pipe does not supply homes so water should not be affected, adding that the conduit is a trunk main and not a sewage pipe as some witnesses claimed.

"Our engineers are tackling a large burst pipe on Kingston Hill. They're working to shut down the flow of water from the damaged section," it said in a statement.

"We'll be doing all we can to repair it and get things back to normal as soon as we can, particularly in the current heatwave.

"The burst pipe doesn't directly supply local properties, but we'll be working hard to limit any impact.

"We'll need to carry out a major repair, so there's likely to be a need for a road closure. We're sorry for any inconvenience this causes."

The flooding also limited access to Kingston Hospital.

MPs won't be required to wear jackets due to heatwave

MPs will not be required to wear jackets in the Commons chamber for the rest of the week due to soaring temperatures, the Speaker has said.

Sir Lindsay Hoyle said the chamber is kept at a "constantly comfortable temperature" but acknowledged MPs have to move around the parliamentary estate.

He said: "Therefore while the heat remains at this exceptional level and for the remainder of this week, I'm content for members not to wear jackets and ties in the chamber if they so choose."

'Exceptionally' hot air blows up from North Africa

16-year-old dies while open water swimming

A 16-year-old boy has died after getting into difficulty in Bray Lake, near Maidenhead, Berkshire.

Thames Valley Police said officers were called at 11.45am on Monday and a body was located at just after 1.30pm, when he was pronounced deceased at the scene.

Superintendent Michael Greenwood, the LPA Commander for Windsor and Maidenhead, said: "This is an absolute tragedy in which a young boy has died after getting into difficulty in the water of Bray Lake.

"The boy's next of kin have been notified and are being offered support at this extremely difficult and traumatic time.

"My thoughts, and the thoughts of all of us at Thames Valley Police are with the boy's family and his friends, and we would ask that their privacy is respected."

Wales records hottest ever temperature...provisionally

Wales has provisionally recorded its hottest day on record, with the temperature reaching 35.3C in Gogerddan, near Aberystwyth, the Met Office said.

Temperatures start to peak, in pictures

met office weather heatwave warning uk schools work
Swimmers enjoy an early morning swim in the cool water of Jesus Green lido in Cambridge CREDIT: LEON NEAL /GETTY IMAGES EUROPE 
met office weather heatwave warning uk schools work
Cows shelter from the the hot weather by the River Cam in Cambridge CREDIT: ANDREW COULDRIDGE /REUTERS
met office weather heatwave warning uk schools work
Sunbathers take to the sea at Fistral Beach in Newquay CREDIT: HUGH HASTINGS /GETTY IMAGES EUROPE 

Tube journeys down sharply

Transport for London (TfL) said around 1.06 million entries and exits were made by London Underground passenger on Monday up to 10am.

This is down 18pc compared with the same period last Monday.

Some 1.07 million bus journeys were made up to 10am, a 10pc decrease week on week.

TfL said: "Ridership on Monday is typically lower than other days of the week on public transport and is therefore likely to be a good indication of where people are working from home.

"Typically, TfL also sees a small reduction in ridership at this time of year as schools enter their last week of term and people begin to go on holiday.

"However, the recent high temperatures have led to more of a reduction than would have been expected before our travel advice was issued to only make essential journeys during this extreme hot weather."

France in grip of 'heat apocalypse' as two people die in wildfires in Spain

France is facing a “heat apocalypse” with soaring temperatures expected to claim more lives in Europe after a firefighter and shepherd were killed in wildfires in Spain, reports our Europe editor James Crisp.

Blazes burning in France, Greece, Portugal and Spain have destroyed thousands of hectares of land and forced thousands of residents and holidaymakers to flee during the heatwave, which has been blamed on climate change.

Firefighters in France said Monday was shaping up to be one of the most challenging days since the fires started because of the relentless heat, as another 3,500 people were being told to leave their homes as a precaution as winds changed direction.

 You can read the round-up from across Europe here.

What extreme heat can do to your body – and how to stay safe

As the Met Office issues its first red alert for heat, experts say we need to start thinking of high temperatures as a natural disaster. Sarah Newey and Boris Barbalov take a look at how to stay safe during the hot weather...

Heatwaves generally conjure thoughts of lazy afternoons pottering in the garden, lounging by the sea or on the hunt for ice cream. But there’s a darker side to record temperatures: heat kills. 

As a scorching hot spell engulfs Europe, the Met Office issued the first ever national red alert for heat on Friday ahead of potentially record-breaking temperatures on Monday and Tuesday, while the UK Health Security Agency warned “illness and death may occur among the fit and healthy, not just in high-risk groups”.  

It’s not an empty threat. Excess death figures show that 1,634 people died due to heat last year, during what was a “fairly unremarkable” summer in terms of temperature. In 2020, when the mercury hit 37.8 degrees celsius, the toll reached 2,556.

You can read their piece in full here.

Where are London's cool spaces?

With temperatures set to touch 40C in the capital over the next couple days, Londoners will be desperately searching for a place to cool off.

Water fountains, tree canopies and shaded areas can all help residents cool off.

Cooler spaces are found generally along the river and in parks, with indoor cool spaces concentrated most densely in central London.

Take a look where all cool spaces can be found by clicking the link here.

You're never too old for a paddling pool...

met office weather heatwave warning uk schools work
Friends sit in a kiddies paddling pool after a council parks vehicle filled their pool with water in central London CREDIT: ANDY RAIN/EPA-EFE/SHUTTERSTOCK /SHUTTERSTOCK 

Boris Johnson treating Britain with 'contempt' - Sadiq Khan

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said Boris Johnson is treating the British public with "contempt" following his absence from Cobra meetings over the summer heatwave, and called for him to immediately step down as Prime Minister.

Mr Johnson has been criticised for choosing not to chair the security meetings with Cabinet ministers as parts of the country face temperatures of up to 40C (104F) on Monday and Tuesday, while still finding time to ride in a Typhoon fighter jet during a demonstration at RAF Coningsby last week.

Mr Khan said Mr Johnson should be making better use of his time, and declared he should hand over power to Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab while the Conservative Party chooses its next leader.

He said: "The Met Office for the first time ever have issued a level 4 red alert warning, the chief medical officer is advising everybody to be careful as a consequence of this extreme weather, the Prime Minister is hosting a lavish party at Chequers and obviously going on a joyride on a Typhoon plane.

"That's not what a Prime Minister should be doing. And if the Prime Minister wants to go on a jolly, he should leave Number 10 Downing Street, he should resign and allow the Deputy Prime Minister to be a caretaker prime minister until the Conservatives have chosen their leader."

He added: "This idea of a Prime Minister, who has been voted out by his party, having a jolly for six months is treating the British public with contempt, he should go now."

Government 'checked out' - Sir Keir Starmer

Sir Keir Starmer has accused the Government of being "checked out" and failing to do "the basics" to prepare the nation for the heatwave.

The Labour leader told reporters at a central London bank: "We need a national resilience strategy and the Government consulted about this.

"That consultation closed down 10 months ago, but it hasn't been implemented, so there's real question marks about why the Government hasn't done the basics.

"And I think for many people today it's going to be a real struggle today and tomorrow in the heat and they're seeing a Prime Minister who's basically checked out, so he's not really doing anything.

"You've got a Cabinet that is completely distracted with the circus of a leadership race.

"So the basics need to be done, that strategy needs to be put into place ... and have an across all system approach."

Congestion decreases across the country as people avoid travelling in the heat

Figures published by location technology firm TomTom show the level of road congestion at 9am was lower in most UK cities than at the same time last week.

In Birmingham, congestion levels fell from 46pc on July 11 to 43pc today.

In Glasgow, congestion levels fell from 17pc on July 11 to 12pc today.

In London, congestion levels fell from 53pc on July 11 to 42pc today.

In Manchester, congestion levels fell from 45pc on July 11 to 37pc today.

Schools close due to heat

Some schools are closing because of the extreme weather caused by the heatwave, with two citing a lack of water as reason for sending pupils home.

North Wootton Academy and South Wootton Junior and Infant School in King's Lynn, Norfolk, are closed because of low water supply in the heat, they announced.

Braidwood School in Birmingham has announced it will remain closed until Wednesday July 20 because of the heat, while 53 schools in Buckinghamshire have closed and reverted to remote learning.

Revellers flock to the beach

met office weather heatwave warning uk schools work
The scene at 10:28 am as members of the public enjoy the warm weather on Bournemouth beach CREDIT: IOANNIS ALEXOPOULOS/LONDON NEWS PICTURES LTD 
met office weather heatwave warning uk schools work
Visitors have thronged to Brighton beach  CREDIT: STEPHEN LOCK /I-IMAGES PICTURE AGENCY 

No.10 defends Boris Johnson for not chairing Cobra meetings

Downing Street has defended Boris Johnson for not chairing Cobra meetings on the heatwave while finding time to take a ride in a Typhoon fighter jet.

The Prime Minister's official spokesman was unable to say what is in Mr Johnson's diary at the time Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Kit Malthouse chairs a Cobra meeting at 2.30pm on Monday.

The spokesman said: "Kit Malthouse has made the point that he is taking the lead on the Government's response to the heatwave, he's keeping the Prime Minister fully briefed including over the weekend when the Prime Minister also spoke to a number of secretaries of state about the work they are doing.

"And it is not unusual in Cabinet Government for Cabinet ministers to chair these sorts of things."

Asked about Mr Johnson's Typhoon flight, the spokesman said: "The Typhoon's quick alert reaction role is an integral part of both UK and Nato security and the PM does have a specific role in directing RAF action in worst-case scenarios. So it is important he is aware of some of these capabilities they have."

Asked if he needs first-hand experience to understand this, the spokesman said: "It's important that he has a detailed understanding of the working capabilities of the RAF."

Gritters to deploy to stop roads melting

A fleet of gritters is preparing to deploy across Britain's roads in an effort to stop the tarmac from melting.

Gritters, traditionally used to stop snow from freezing, are being filled with sand to spread onto the roads which will reduce the chances that the surfaces will melt.

The crushed stone soaks up excess tar and helps reflect a larger amount of the sun’s rays. 

met office weather heatwave warning uk schools work
Gritters preparing to go out and stop the roads from melting in the extreme temperatures at Warwickshire County Council CREDIT: EMMA TRIMBLE/SWNS

Think of heatwaves the same way we think of house fires, says expert

Professor Hannah Cloke, natural hazards researcher at the University of Reading, has told a press briefing that more needs to be done to communicate the dangers of heatwaves.

She said: "Last year's heat wave in the UK killed at least 10 times as many people as the Grenfell fire.

"So I think we have to start thinking about heatwaves very differently - perhaps in the same way as we think about house fire or flat fires.

"And we need detailed plans and everybody has to know what roles they have and rehearse that role in preparation and do that in advance.

"After the Grenfell fire disaster poor apartment design is not tolerated any longer. And I think severe heat waves are a problem that's not going away and they will get worse so we can no longer tolerate poor design - in our buildings and cities.

"And we urgently need to think about things like reducing overheating, and shading."

Polar bears swim to keep cool

met office weather heatwave warning uk schools work
A polar bear at the Yorkshire Wildlife Park in Doncaster keeps cool in a lake as the park is temporarily closed due to the hot weather CREDIT: DANNY LAWSON /PA

Three die while open water swimming over the weekend

A 13-year-old boy has died after going missing in a river as emergency services make urgent appeals for people to stay out of dangerous waterways and reservoirs.

Further to our post at 10.49am, the death of the teenager at Ovingham, Northumberland, is one of a number of tragedies in water-related incidents during the sunny weather, including a 16-year-old boy in Salford Quays, Greater Manchester, and a 50-year-old man in a reservoir near Leeds.

Police in Leeds urged people to stay away from dangerous bodies of water following the death at Ardsley Reservoir.

Officers were called to a report that a man had got into difficulty in the water at 5.30pm on Saturday and the body of the 50-year-old was found on Sunday.

In Greater Manchester, a 16-year-old boy died after he was seen struggling in the water at Salford Quays at around 6.15pm on Saturday.

Police, fire and ambulance services were called and a body was later located and recovered by specialist divers.

Temperatures cross 30 degrees before lunchtime in the south-east

met office weather heatwave warning uk schools work
A member of the Queen's Guard receives a drink of water outside Buckingham Palace CREDIT: JOHN SIBLEY /REUTERS
met office weather heatwave warning uk schools work
People shelter from the sun underneath a map outside Buckingham Palace CREDIT: JOHN SIBLEY /REUTERS
met office weather heatwave warning uk schools work
The record breaking temperatures have caused a huge thirst as seen at this bottle rercycle point in Petersfield, Hampshire CREDIT: CHRIS GORMAN /BIG LADDER

Schools cancel detentions and sports days over hot weather

Schools are cancelling detentions and sports days because of the heatwave.

Northwood Community Primary School in Kirkby, Merseyside said that sports day had been cancelled on Monday, although "children can still attend school in their PE kits until the end of term".

And King Charles I School, a secondary school in Worcestershire, has cancelled all on-site detentions on Monday and Tuesday.

Boy dies in Northumbria after 'coming into trouble' in a river

Northumbria Police said a teenager's body has ben found after a 13-year-old "came into trouble" in a river near Ovingham yesterday.

Following extensive searches by the force's marine unit, police said a "body has since been found in the water" and they believe it to be the missing boy, though a formal identification is yet to take place.

Pigs being covered by cold wet towels and suncream at royal Welsh Show

Pigs are being covered in suncream to protect them at one of Britain's biggest country shows.

Farmers are using the suncream to protect the animals' sensitive skin in the blistering heat at the Royal Welsh Show.

Award-winning pig farmer Ela Mair will be covering her six entrants - including five pedigree Welsh pigs - in cold wet towels to keep them cool.

"Pigs don't let out the heat as well as other animals so it is difficult to keep them cool," said Ela, 45, of Pwllheli in Gwynedd.

"We put cold wet towels over them but we need to be careful that the heat doesn't dry the towels too quickly so it can reheat them.

"So we'll be keeping them in the shade as much as possible and keeping the fans on them as much as we can."

Organisers of the Royal Welsh Show have spent more than £50,000 on extra fans and ventilation in livestock sheds to keep the approximate 8,000 animals as cool as possible while extra water will be available.

Britain seeks to beat the heat as the mercury soars

met office weather heatwave warning uk schools work
A swimmer floats in the water at sunrise in the early morning heat at the Serpentine Lake in Hyde Park CREDIT: BEN CAWTHRA/LONDON NEWS PICTURES LTD 
met office weather heatwave warning uk schools work
Horticulture student Muhammed Ismail Moosa waters the plants in the Palm House at the Royal Botanical Gardens Kew CREDIT: DOMINIC LIPINSKI /PA
met office weather heatwave warning uk schools work
People preparing to enter the water in Penzance, Cornwall CREDIT: BEN BIRCHALL /PA

Temperatures could reach 43 degrees on Tuesday, Met Office warns

The chief executive of the Met Office confirmed "we may well see the hottest day in the UK in history" on Monday, but Tuesday is expected to be even hotter, with some forecasts estimating highs of 43C (109F).

Professor Penelope Endersby told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "We think today we may well see the hottest day in the UK in history, with the hottest temperatures in the South East, but actually the highest temperatures we expect tomorrow, and those temperatures will be further north as that warm air pushes north. So it's tomorrow that we're really seeing the higher chance of 40 degrees and temperatures above that.

"Even possibly above that... 41 isn't off the cards. We've even got some 43s in the model but we're hoping it won't be as high as that."

She added that such extreme temperatures are not expected beyond Tuesday, but that the Met Office will then be monitoring the possibility of drought in the coming months.

"Well, we certainly don't see these very hot temperatures persisting past Tuesday, so we're expecting a big drop in temperature, mercifully, overnight into Wednesday - down 10 or 12 degrees on what it has been the days before," she said.

"We are still seeing hotter than average in our three-month outlook and also very dry, and our attention is turning, once we're past these two days, to drought and when we might see any rain, and we're not seeing any significant rain coming up."

Open 'cooling centres' in public buildings and add porticos to streets for shade

Professor Penny Endersby, the chief executive of the Met Office, said we will need to start installing "cooling centres" in cities for people to escape the heat, Lizzie Roberts reports.

Speaking to the BBC's Today programme, she said if we keep experiencing such temperatures we need to adapt our buildings and streets to provide shade, like in Italy.

"They're already adapted for these kinds of temperatures but we're not and we're going to have to make those changes to shade and insulate our buildings against heat as well as against cold."

She added in the "short term" we will need to open "cooling centres" which are  "places people go and cool off, which is routine and then hot climates".

"In the states in heat waves, they will tell you where your local cooling center is the way that we would put a place to go if you're in danger of being flooded out. But we haven't tended to need to do that, but we will."

"In major cities, we've already been working with local resilience forums, we're very worried about people like homeless people overnight on the streets and making sure they've got somewhere to go to be out of the heat."

Europe suffering from high heat

Rail speed restrictions could double travel time

Speed restrictions imposed on trains amid fears of rails buckling in the heat could more than double journey times for passengers, the chief spokesman for Network Rail has said.

Kevin Groves told Sky News that trips which typically take two hours could take "more than four hours" as emergency measures have been brought in to prevent trains derailing.

"Certainly later on today that (buckling) is a strong possibility, which is why, from about midday today through till 8pm tonight, there will be large swathes of England and Wales that will have emergency heat-related speed restrictions placed on the rail network," he said.

Mr Groves promised refunds to any passengers who booked journeys on Monday and Tuesday who rearrange travel for later in the week.

"Our advice to passengers if they can, today and tomorrow, is only travel if it's really necessary; otherwise try and shift your arrangements to later in the week and you'll get a full refund," he said.

Boris Johnson has 'clocked off'

Labour frontbencher Lisa Nandy accused Boris Johnson and his ministers of having "clocked off" during the UK's first red extreme heat warning.

The shadow levelling up secretary told Sky News: "We think the Government ought to do a number of things: first is to turn up to work."

She said the Prime Minister has "clearly clocked off", adding: "And so have many of his ministers in his Government."

Ms Nandy argued there should be a dedicated Cabinet Office minister to co-ordinate an emergency response and she urged Whitehall to work with local areas to ensure resilience plans are in place to end the current "patchwork" approach.

London commuters swelter

met office weather heatwave warning uk schools work
Victoria Station commuters arriving this morning CREDIT: JEREMY SELWYN /SELWYNPICS 
met office weather heatwave warning uk schools work
Passengers travelling on the London Underground during hot weather CREDIT: IOANNIS ALEXOPOULOS/LONDON NEWS PICTURES LTD 

Most healthy people 'won't run into difficulty'

Deputy chief medical officer Thomas Waite said most healthy people will not run into difficulty during the heatwave.

Dr Waite was asked about comments made by chief executive of the College of Paramedics Tracy Nicholls about the country not being prepared for the high temperatures in contrast to the message from Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab that Britons should "enjoy the sunshine".

Speaking on GMB, Dr Waite said: "Most people who are in good health won't run into difficulty if they're taking precautions, that they're keeping hydrated and they're keeping cool.

"Some people, particularly older people, or those who have existing cardiovascular illnesses and also very young children and babies are less able to regulate their heat.

"So this couple of days, looking out for one another is a really helpful thing to do and making sure that in the longer term that we think about how we prepare for these kind of summers."

Normal rail service will 'depend on the damage'

Jake Kelly, spokesman for Network Rail, has warned of travel disruption across the country due to the heatwave, and has warned that services returning to normal on Wednesday "will depend on the damage that the weather does to the infrastructure" over the course of Monday and Tuesday.

Speaking to BBC Radio 4's Today Programme, Mr Kelly said: "Our advice very strongly to customers in England and Wales today and tomorrow is to only travel if absolutely essential, and to expect a very reduced train service and delays.

"And of course, as your listeners were hearing, on the East Coast mainline, that's the route from London to destinations like Peterborough, Leeds and York, tomorrow, unfortunately, there won't be a train service and passengers should not travel.

"We haven't taken any of those decisions lightly, but we've not been faced with these exceptional temperatures before."

Looking ahead to the rest of the week, Mr Kelly said: "We hope and expect to run a full service on Wednesday and beyond, but that will depend on the damage that the weather does to the infrastructure over the next couple of days. We have lots of plans in place to make sure that we can run."

Hosepipe ban 'not currently' under consideration

The water demand reduction manager for Thames Water Andrew Tucker has urged customers to use water carefully, particularly in their back gardens, as the heatwave has led to demand being "at near record level".

Mr Tucker said that Thames Water is not currently considering any water restrictions, but that could change if there is little rainfall in the coming months.

Speaking to BBC Radio 4's Today Programme, he said: "We're doing pretty well. We know exactly how much water we've got in the system, and that's both in our rivers, the aquifers underground or groundwater aquifers, but also how much we have in our reservoirs. We balance that with how much demand we're seeing from homes and businesses but at the moment that demand is at near record level, as we were expecting."

He added: "We're not expecting to need to introduce restrictions on water at the moment. But we know how much water we've got, and with people using more at the moment, we are getting through it faster than we would like. If we don't receive rainfall in the coming months that situation may change but we're staying on top of it every single day."

'Completely unfair' to suggest Boris Johnson is ducking duties

Cabinet minister Kit Malthouse defended Boris Johnson's decision not to attend a Cobra meeting on the heatwave and instead spend the weekend having a party at Chequers.

Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Mr Malthouse told Sky News: "It's my job to chair Cobra meetings. I briefed him yesterday morning at about 8am personally."

As the broadcaster showed aerial footage of Mr Johnson with his guests at Chequers, Mr Malthouse said it was "completely unfair" to suggest that the Prime Minister was ducking important meetings because he would be leaving the job soon.

Heatwave hits Britain, in pictures

met office weather heatwave warning uk schools work
Beams of sunlight shoot across the sky at sunrise above the pier at Swanage in Dorset CREDIT: GRAHAM HUNT/BNPS 
met office weather heatwave warning uk schools work
A man is seen swimming in the early morning heat at the Serpentine Lake in Hyde Park CREDIT: BEN CAWTHRA/LONDON NEWS PICTURES LTD 
met office weather heatwave warning uk schools work
A cyclist rides through Richmond Park at sunrise CREDIT: HANNAH MCKAY /REUTERS
met office weather heatwave warning uk schools work
Traffic weather warning signs for extreme heat on the A3 Roehampton Vale, south west London CREDIT: ALEX LENTATI/LONDON NEWS PICTURES LTD 

Another heatwave 'cannot be ruled out'

Chief meteorologist at the Met Office Paul Davies said temperatures will ease from next Wednesday onwards but warned another heatwave later in summer could not be ruled out.

Mr Davies told Sky News: "When we look to the future in terms of the next week, there is an easier time because in fact the temperatures start to ease back to what we describe as slightly above normal from about Wednesday onwards.

"But as we move into all this, you just can't rule out another plume."

He added that holiday-goers should also check the weather overseas because the heat is likely to be "sustainable and pretty intense" over the course of the month.

Monday night will be 'really oppressive'

Chief meteorologist at the Met Office Paul Davies warned Monday night will be "very oppressive" and it will be difficult to sleep in the heat.

The top forecaster said he was "really concerned" about the UK hitting 40 or 41C on Tuesday.

He told Sky News: "Tonight will be very oppressive, I mean it's actually difficult sleeping conditions.

"And tomorrow is the day where we are really concerned about a good chance now of hitting 40 or 41C, and with that all the health conditions that come with those higher temperatures."

Today's weather forecast

'Exceptional' heat, even for Spain and Portugal, says Met Office

Chief meteorologist at the Met Office Paul Davies told Sky News even colleagues in hot countries like Spain and Portugal had described the scenes in the UK as "exceptional".

The top forecaster said a "plume" of heat pushing across Europe was affecting Britain differently.

A combination of that plume and human activity generating its own heat is contributing to the high temperatures, he said.

"I was talking to my colleagues in Spain, Portugal and France over the weekend and they described this heat as exceptional too, and they've seen and observed amazing temperatures and, as I say, the brutality of that impact.

"In terms of the UK, the heat which has been affecting Spain, Portugal and France is different towards us. So it's the activity of that plume, and also us generating our own heat that's causing the particular problems for tomorrow."



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