The UK has recorded a temperature of above 40C for the first time in history – at London Heathrow – as the extreme heatwave ravaging the country and parts of Europe prompted warnings of a “very extreme danger” of wildfires.
Temperatures of 39.1C were also recorded in Charlwood, Surrey, provisional data from the Met Office confirmed. The previous record stood at 38.7C at Cambridge Botanic Garden on 25 July 2019.
Meanwhile, the European Forest Fire Information System has put out a wildfire warning for parts of the UK, Spain, France and Italy, as fires erupt across the continent amid the blistering heatwave.
Millions of Britons experienced sweltering temperatures on Monday night, with provisional data suggesting it was the warmest night on record.
The forecaster said some models forecast highs of 43C today, making the country hotter than Jamaica, the Maldives and Barbados.
Rail users are warned of delays, cancellations and changes to train services, while dozens of schools have closed, ahead of warnings of further disruption due to thunderstorms on Wednesday.