Britain braces for hottest day EVER

Britain braces for hottest day EVER as baking Saharan air threatens to send temperatures past 102F ahead of scorching heatwave weekend

  • Temperatures will rocket above 86F (30C) every day from today, hotter than Barbados, until at least Tuesday
  • The Met Office has issued a level-three heat health alert which warns for Britons to look out for elderly people 
  • The very hot conditions are being caused by Saharan air warming up over France before spreading north

For many of us, today’s weather may well seem eerily familiar.

This is because, just like last Friday, it is set to be one of the hottest days on record, thanks to a band of Saharan air. But unlike then, when cloud and drizzle followed, this time the heatwave is here to stay.

Temperatures of at least 37C (99F) are forecast in London and the South East today, with a chance that last Friday’s 37.8C (100F) recorded at Heathrow Airport – the UK’s third-hottest day ever – could be broken.

Temperatures could even climb above the record of 38.7C (102F), which was set last July. 

Further north and west, it is still due to reach 28C (82F), with fine weather expected into next week and continuing through the first half of August, albeit with a risk of downpours and thunderstorms.

With daily maximum temperatures in the South expected to remain above 30C (86F) until Tuesday, forecasters say it is the first official heatwave – lasting at least three days – since late July last year, when the record UK temperature, 38.7C (101.7F), was set. 

Grahame Madge, of the Met Office, said: ‘Whether we will see the hottest day of the year is on a knife edge. However, this will be a longer spell of warm weather compared with what we had last week.

‘Meteorologically, it will be a heatwave. There is a strong signal of a thundery breakdown at some stage next week but that’s not likely before early on Tuesday.’

Mr Madge said that while the warmest weather is expected in the South East today and tomorrow, the hottest areas over the latter half of the weekend could be Hampshire, Dorset and Somerset.

Temperatures are expected to fall back towards the mid-20s in the North and Wales.

The very hot conditions, being caused by Atlantic air warming up over France before being drawn north, have led to health warnings. 

Forecasters previously warned that today could be the hottest day in British history as a sweltering 110F (38C) may roast the country at the start of a six-day heatwave. 

Temperatures of up to 37C (99F) are forecast in London and the South East today as air warming up over France causes a heatwave

Hot weather brings sunseekers out to beach at Brighton in East Sussex yesterday as temperatures start to rise again in Britain

A girl is among a group of children jumping into the sea off a pontoon in Brighton this afternoon as the sun came out again

Swarms of people were seen relaxing on Bournemouth beach yesterday

A woman’s hair flicks back as she launches herself off a pontoon in Brighton in East Sussex as men stand behind her fishing

A group of mates backflip off Cullercoats pier on North Tyneside this afternoon as they cool down in the sea as the mercury continues to rise

People make the most of warm weather at Camber in East Sussex yesterday as the South East experiences hotter temperatures

A groups of friends play volleyball on the sand at Tynemouth’s Longsands beach in the North East on Thursday afternoon

Crowds of people flocked to Bournemouth beach yesteday to enjoy the warm temperatures

One sunbather chats on her mobile phone as she tans on the pebbles at Brighton beach on the south coast ahead of a five-day heatwave

A man and a woman lie on towels as they enjoy the soft sand at Bournemouth beach this afternoon as crowds start to gather in coastal resorts

Temperatures will rocket above 86F (30C) every day from yesterday – hotter than Barbados and Jamaica – until at least next Tuesday, with the Met Office issuing a level-three heat health alert which warns Britons to look out for the elderly, vulnerable and young children.

There are also fears tourists flocking to coastal hotspots will ignore social distancing rules and cram on to packed seafronts in scenes similar to last weekend – risking further spread of the dreaded coronavirus.

Forecasters said there was a chance tomorrow will pass the 100.04F (37.8C) high recorded in London last Friday, which was the UK’s hottest day of the year so far and the country’s third warmest ever.

Britain has never recorded two days with temperatures over 99F (37C) in the same year in more than 100 years of observations.

The Met Office warned people in South East England to close curtains on rooms facing the sun to keep indoor spaces cooler, drink plenty of fluids, avoid excess alcohol, dress appropriately and ‘slow down when it is hot’.

It comes as the staycation boom continues, with Britons flocking to seasides across the UK and Halfords reporting a sales surge in camping equipment since lockdown was lifted on July 4 – with gas stoves up 300 per cent, cool boxes up 180 per cent, airbeds up 130 per cent, roofboxes up 165 per cent and camping chairs up 120 per cent. 

The mercury in London had already hit 68F (20C) by 6am yesterday, with highs of 86F (30C) this afternoon, before 100F (38C) tomorrow, 91F (33C) on Saturday, 88F (31C) on Sunday and Monday and 86F (30C) on Tuesday.

But the RNLI has warned of ‘plenty of potential dangers’ amid an expected rush to the beaches during the UK’s staycation surge which has been boosted by foreign holidays now being in doubt due to coronavirus restrictions.

The heat is from southerly winds moving from Europe and parts of northern Africa and is expected to stay around well into next week, although it may then be replaced by thunderstorms by next Wednesday.

This morning will have a cloudy but generally dry start to the day, although this will be replaced by hot sunny spells that will continue over the weekend and into the early part of next week.

Sunseekers head to Brighton beach in East Sussex yesterday as temperatures rise across the UK and another heatwave begins

Thrillseekers were spotted plunging off a ledge into a sea from Cullercoats pier on North Tyneside

Families head to Bournemouth beach in Dorset yesterday to enjoy the warm conditions as a six-day heatwave gets underway

Pepole enjoy the warm weather at Bournemouth beach in Dorset yesterday as very hot conditions are forecast for England

Two women sit and have a chat on the sand at Bournemouth beach yesterday as they relax on a Thursday off work

Crowds started tp gather again at Bournemouth beach yesterday as families and youths took to the coast to enjoy the hot weather

A paddle boarder enjoys the hot weather amid the calm waters at Tynemouth’s Longsands beach

The Heacham beach in Norfolk is starting to get busy as the heatwave continues and scorching temperatures are expected tomorrow

Eight surfers prepare to take to the waves on Tynemouth’s Longsands beach on Thursday afternoon as the sun came out

Beachgoers relaxed in the sun at Longsands beach in Tynemouth 

Much of the South of England will be hotter than the Caribbean, with highs of 91F (33C) in Jamaica and just 84F (29C) Barbados. But sleeping will be comfortable, with a maximum of 15C (59F) expected over the next few nights.

Plea to beachgoers as Britain braces for another rush to the coast

The RNLI has urged families heading to the beach this week to be aware of potential dangers as the UK braces itself for a potential heatwave. 

Last Friday, on the hottest day of the year so far, The Coastguard reported its busiest day for more than four years as it dealt with more than 300 incidents.

Ahead of this week’s sunny spell, Gareth Morrison, RNLI head of water safety, said: ‘Our coastline is a fantastic place to spend time together as a family, especially when the sun is out and it’s hot.

‘But there are also plenty of potential dangers, especially for those who aren’t fully aware of their surroundings and may be visiting a particular beach for the first time.

‘We are advising everyone planning a visit to a beach or the coast to follow (the) beach safety advice.’

Met Office forecaster Oli Claydon said: ‘There’s a strong likelihood London and the South East could see a heatwave this week, with four or even five consecutive days of incredibly warm temperatures reaching a high of 37C (99F) on Friday.’

The threshold for a heatwave is three days over 82F (28C) in London and 77F (25C) in most other parts of the country. Much of the South will reach 84F (29C) this afternoon, with 75F (24C) in the north.

Tomorrow will peak in the mid to high-30Cs around East Anglia, Kent and London, while up to 84F (29C) is expected in Manchester and Liverpool. The heat could generate showers but these will be light and fleeting.

Saturday will see temperatures remain in the 90Fs (mid-20Cs) in the North, while 95F (35C) will still be typical in the South. Sunday will see the mercury hit the 80Fs (mid to high-20Cs) throughout England and Wales, before temperatures climb again the following day.

Another Met Office forecaster, Greg Dewhurst, said: ‘Next week’s models are looking at 32C (90F) to 33C (91F) again from Monday, so it’s just a slight dip on Sunday but it will still be warm.

‘There will be cooler, fresher weather when we get to Wednesday or Thursday as the winds start to come from the north rather than the south.’ He added: ‘I wouldn’t call it a mini-heatwave. I’d just say heatwave.’ 

The Met Office said there was a ‘low chance’ that last week’s record temperature would be beaten again but that large parts of the UK would see ‘four or even five consecutive days of incredibly warm temperatures’.

A spokesman said: ‘It is the result of southerly winds moving from Europe and parts of northern Africa, which will push the temperatures up. It’s pretty unusual to get two successive events like this within a week of each other with such high temperatures.’ 

The Met Office has issued a level three heat health alert which warns Britons to look out for the elderly and young children

Friends and family splash around in the waves below the cliffs at Bournemouth as the mercury shot up again on Thursday afternoon

A man prepares to launch the ball over the net as he takes part in a game of volleyball at Tynemouth’s Longsands beach

Tourists and locals take a stroll along the promenade at Bournemouth beach as crowds gathered on the beach below

Emergency powers are used to stop wild camping in parts of Dartmoor amid surge in staycation visitors

A temporary ban on wild camping has been introduced in one of the few places it is legal in England and Wales, following a surge of visitors to the area.

Dartmoor National Park Authority has used emergency powers under the Dartmoor Commons Act 1985 after large numbers of people treated Riddon Ridge at Bellever as an informal campsite.

People are usually legally allowed to backpack camp – carrying their own equipment as part of their walk and staying one to two nights maximum – in certain areas of Dartmoor.

But since the easing of Covid-19 lockdown restrictions, the area has seen a significant increase in numbers, with people camping in tents, motorhomes and camper vans – many in breach of the National Park byelaws.

Dartmoor National Park Authority said there had been ‘unsustainable levels’ of anti-social behaviour at Bellever, with littering, human waste and fires causing damage to habitats and animals. On one night in July, 70 tents were recorded at Bellever and 50 fire pits were counted along a 500 metre length of river bank.

There were large amounts of debris including broken bottles, plastic bottles and bags, disposable barbecues, wet wipes and used toilet paper left behind.

The shaded area shows where camping is allowed in Dartmoor. There is a temporary ban on all overnight stays and camping in the Bellever area from August 7 until September 2

Kevin Bishop, chief executive of Dartmoor National Park Authority said, ‘There is absolutely no excuse for this type of behaviour. We recognise the coronavirus pandemic has been a difficult time for us all and that people want to come to Dartmoor to enjoy the fresh air, get some exercise and connect with nature.

‘We enjoy seeing people benefit from this, it’s great for their physical and mental health and wellbeing. But we, alongside other National Parks and countryside organisations, are appalled and concerned at the actions of the disrespectful few; those who are treating the countryside like a toilet or a rubbish dump. There is simply no excuse for it.’

The camping ban, lasting for 27 days, comes into force from Friday to prevent large numbers of people camping and to allow the area to recover. It has been enforced under S10 (4) of the Dartmoor Commons Act and prohibits overnight sleeping or camping and the pitching of tents at all times in the Bellever and Riddon Ridge area.

National Park marshals, supported by funding from the Devon and Cornwall police and crime commissioner, will be employed to assist rangers with enforcing the ban.

Dartmoor National Park Authority said the lighting of campfires and moving of stones posed a ‘real threat’ to Bellever’s ancient monuments, field systems and 3,000-year-old Bronze Age hut circles. Discarded rubbish is harmful to wildlife and other animals living on the moor, with plastic bags and wet wipes not good for ponies to eat.

The authority said it was concerned that a ‘wholly avoidable health hazard’ was being created due to the high levels of human waste left at the site. It is also making it ‘almost impossible’ for other people and local residents, who are respectful of the countryside, to enjoy the area, it said.

Simon Lee, ranger team manager, said: ‘We’ve not experienced anything like this before across the National Park. Most of our work is clearing debris people have abandoned, rather than doing vital access work and helping people get the most from their visit.

‘This unsociable behaviour is taking up lots of our time and poses a big risk to other people, wildlife and habitats. The situation is becoming intolerable; no one should need to see or deal with this type of mess and that’s why we’re taking this action.’

The ban is supported by partners including Devon and Cornwall Police and the area’s police and crime commissioner Alison Hernandez, as well as the landowner and Forestry England, which manages the neighbouring Bellever Forest.

Sergeant Seth Saunders said it was ‘crucial’ that people were respectful of the local communities, habitats and wildlife on Dartmoor.

‘Officers will be in the area in coming days supporting Dartmoor Rangers to engage with members of the public in efforts to prevent disorder and anti-social behaviour,’ he said. Since lockdown eased, more waste than authorities usually see in a year has been collected from the site.

Ben Robinson, forester for Forestry England said: ‘This situation is simply unsustainable, and is diverting time and money that could be better spent maintaining this beautiful landscape and improving access for all. It is sad that it has come to this, but we fully support Dartmoor National Park’s necessary action.’

It comes after a YouGov poll found 28 per cent of Britons plan to take a holiday in the UK this year – the equivalent of 19million people – while only 9 per cent will go abroad and a further 49 per cent do not intend on holidaying.

Top temperatures since UK records began in 1659

And the warm weather will concern local authorities in areas such as Cornwall, Devon, Dorset and Sussex which can expect another huge influx of holidaymakers as people in the UK shun foreign trips to go on staycations.

Beleaguered Cornish residents reported over the weekend how the popular county had turned into ‘Benidorm on steroids’ as floods of visitors left them too scared to leave their homes.

Meanwhile Thanet District Council in Kent begged people to avoid four of the area’s beaches – including the popular Margate’s Main Sands – due to the number of visitors.

And a drunken fight broke out on the seafront in Brighton last Saturday night as two women went toe-to-toe and others cheered and ignored social distancing.  

Over the weekend, street marshals were deployed in Cornwall as tourists poured down narrow streets and flouted social-distancing rules – despite clear warning signs in place. 

Cornwall Council slammed the ‘ignorant’ visitors who descended on beauty spots without their face masks, as Britons elsewhere appeared to ignore social distancing rules while gathering at bars.             

A stunning shot shows sunseekers start to gather on Bournemouth beach ahead of another boiling weekend across England

People queue to get refreshments from a Cornish pasty shop on the seafront in Bournemouth, Dorset, this afternoon

Two people shut their eyes as they sunbathe on the sand at Bournemouth beach as the sun came out again on Thursday afternoon

Holidaymakers and locals took to the seaside as calm waters made for perfect swimming conditions in Bournemouth

Lucy Bishop (left) and Lauren Barclay walk through a field of sunflowers in Altrincham, Cheshire, as the warm weather continues

A bee rests on a sunflower in Altrincham, Cheshire, as another stands nearby as the warm weather continues across Britain

Helicopter is used to clear 100-tonne boulder after huge landslip in Scotland following heavy rainfall

A helicopter is being used to clear a 100-tonne boulder from above the A83 Rest And Be Thankful as efforts to clear a large landslip continue.

Landslips hit the road amid heavy rainfall across Argyll and Bute on Tuesday, with 6,000 tonnes of debris sliding down a hillside and blocking the route.

Assessments of damage are continuing on Thursday with a team of 42 people working on the road and managing traffic diversions.

A helicopter is being used to clear a 100-tonne boulder from above the A83 Rest And Be Thankful as efforts to clear a large landslip continue

Overnight, around 100 tonnes of further material reached the A83 roadside via a steep channel created in Tuesday evening’s landslip.

A large boulder, approximately 100 tonnes in size, was exposed in one of the steep channels above the A83 and a helicopter is using water bags to manoeuvre it into a safe location.

Road management and maintenance organisation BEAR Scotland said teams are working to clear the roads with ‘dedicated personnel scanning the hillside for safety to check that no further material could impact on operations below’.

The A83 and the Old Military Road (OMR), previously used as an alternative route when the main road is impassable, remain closed.

Western Ferries has also added additional sailings between Gourock and Dunoon to aid travel.

Landslips hit the road amid heavy rainfall across Argyll and Bute on Tuesday, with 6,000 tonnes of debris sliding down a hillside and blocking the route

Eddie Ross, BEAR Scotland’s north-west representative, said: ‘We have rigorous geotechnical assessments under way on the site and are continuing investigations into how this area has been impacted by Tuesday’s landslide.

‘A helicopter is being used to address a large boulder exposed on the hillside which is in the process of being made safe.

‘We have a good weather window today so we’re pressing on as much as we can with the clear-up of the OMR and also to clear more material from the A83 so we can fully assess the extent of the damage.’

He added: ‘This is a challenging process due to the amount of debris exposed and the embankments are being carefully monitored by personnel trained in scanning the hillside to alert for any further movements on the slope which could impact on any operations below.

‘All efforts are in place to address the landslip as quickly as possible, however safety is paramount and we cannot open either the OMR or the A83 until we are absolutely satisfied that the routes are safe.’

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