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UK breaks its record for highest temperature as heat builds

Britain broke its record for the hottest temperature ever recorded on Tuesday, with a temporary reading of 39.1 degrees Celsius (102.4 degrees Fahrenheit), according to the country’s weather office — and the heat was only expected to rise. The highest temperature previously recorded in Britain was 38.7 C (101.7 F), a record set in 2019. Tuesday’s record was in Charleswood, England. “Temperatures are likely to rise further today,” the forecaster said. High Tuesday came as the country sweltered in the heat that also scorched mainland Europe last week. Travel, healthcare and schools were disrupted in a country unprepared for such extremes. A huge swath of England, from London in the south to Manchester and Leeds in the north, remained under the country’s first “extreme” heat warning on Tuesday, meaning there is a risk of death even for healthy people. Britain’s was closed to visitors after an air-conditioning problem forced it to move hearings online. The British Museum planned to close early. Many public buildings, including hospitals, do not have air conditioning, reflecting how unusual this extreme heat is in the country best known for rain and mild temperatures. Unusually hot and dry weather has gripped large parts of the continent since last week, sparking fires from Portugal to the Balkans and leading to hundreds of heat-related deaths. Images of flames racing towards a French beach and Britons sweltering — even on the beach — have sparked concerns about climate change. The UK Met Office also said provisional figures showed temperatures stayed above 25 C (77 F) overnight in parts of the country for the first time. Many people braved the heat wave by staying indoors. Road traffic was reduced from normal levels on Monday. Trains were running at low speed out of concern that the rails might buckle, or they were not running at all. London’s Kings Cross station, one of the country’s busiest rail hubs, was empty on Tuesday, with no trains on the busy East Coast line linking the capital to the north and Scotland. London Luton Airport has been forced to close its runway due to heat damage. Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said Britain’s transport infrastructure, some of which dates back to the Victorian era, “was simply not built to withstand this type of temperature — and it will be many years before we can replace the infrastructure with the kind of infrastructure that could”. At least five people were reported to have drowned across the UK in rivers, lakes and reservoirs while trying to cool off. Climate experts warn that global warming has increased the frequency of extreme weather events, with studies showing that the chance of temperatures in the UK reaching 40 C (104 F) is now 10 times higher than what in the pre-industrial era. Drought and heat waves linked to climate change have also made fighting fires more difficult. The dangers of extreme heat were appearing in southern Europe. At least 748 heat-related deaths have been reported in the heat wave in Spain and neighboring Portugal, where temperatures reached 47 C (117 F) earlier this month. In the Gironde region of southwestern France, wildfires continued to spread through of drought pine forests, frustrating efforts to put out more than 2,000 firefighters and water-bombing planes. More than 37,000 people have been evacuated from homes and summer vacation spots since the fires broke out on July 12 and burned 190 square kilometers (more than 70 square miles) of forest and vegetation, Gironde authorities said. A smaller third fire broke out late Monday in the Medoc wine region north of Bordeaux, further taxing firefighting resources. Five campsites were engulfed in flames in the Atlantic coast beach zone where the flames raged, around the Arcachon sea basin famous for its oysters and resorts. But the weather forecast offered some solace, with heatwave temperatures expected to decrease along the Atlantic coast Tuesday and a chance of showers late in the afternoon.___Associated Press writer John Leicester in Le Pecq, France contributed to this story.

Britain broke its record for the hottest temperature ever recorded on Tuesday, with a temporary reading of 39.1 degrees Celsius (102.4 degrees Fahrenheit), according to the country’s weather office — and the heat was only expected to rise.

The highest temperature previously recorded in Britain was 38.7 C (101.7 F), a record set in 2019. Tuesday’s record was in Charlwood, England.

“Temperatures are likely to rise further today,” the forecaster said.

Big Tuesday came as the country was sweltering in heatwaves that scorched mainland Europe last week. Travel, healthcare and schools were disrupted in a country unprepared for such extremes.

A huge swath of England, from London in the south to Manchester and Leeds in the north, remained under the country’s first “extreme” heat warning on Tuesday, meaning even healthy people are at risk of death.

Britain’s Supreme Court was closed to visitors after an air conditioning problem forced it to move hearings online. The British Museum planned to close early. Many public buildings, including hospitals, lack air conditioning, reflecting how unusual this extreme heat is in the country best known for rain and mild temperatures.

Unusually hot and dry weather has gripped large areas of the continent since last week, sparking fires from Portugal to the Balkans and leading to hundreds of heat-related deaths. Images of flames racing towards a French beach and Britons drowning — even on the beach — have sparked concerns at home about climate change.

The UK Met Office also said provisional figures showed temperatures stayed above 25C (77F) overnight in parts of the country for the first time.

Many people braved the heat wave by staying put. Road traffic was reduced from normal levels on Monday. Trains were running at low speed out of concern that the rails might buckle, or they were not running at all. London’s Kings Cross station, one of the country’s busiest rail hubs, was empty on Tuesday, with no trains on the busy East Coast line linking the capital to the north and Scotland. London Luton Airport has been forced to close its runway due to heat damage.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said Britain’s transport infrastructure, some of which dates back to the Victorian era, was “simply not built to withstand this type of temperature – and it will be many years before we can replace the infrastructure with the kind of infrastructure we could.”

At least five people were reported to have drowned across the UK in rivers, lakes and reservoirs while trying to cool off.

Climate experts warn that global warming has increased the frequency of extreme weather events, with studies showing that the chance of temperatures in the UK reaching 40C (104F) is now 10 times higher than in pre-industrial era. Drought and heat waves linked to climate change have also made fighting fires more difficult.

The dangers of extreme heat were appearing in southern Europe. At least 748 heat-related deaths have been reported in the heat wave in Spain and neighboring Portugal, where temperatures reached 47 C (117 F) earlier this month.

In the Gironde region of southwestern France, wild forest fires continued to spread through dry pine forests, frustrating the efforts of more than 2,000 firefighters and water-bombing planes.

More than 37,000 people have been evacuated from their homes and summer vacations since the fires broke out on July 12 and burned 190 square kilometers (more than 70 square miles) of forest and vegetation, Gironde authorities said.

A smaller third fire broke out late Monday in the Medoc wine region north of Bordeaux, further straining firefighting resources. Five campsites were engulfed in flames in the coastal zone of the Atlantic coast where the flames raged around the Arcachon sea basin, known for its oysters and resorts.

However, weather forecasts offered some solace, with heatwave temperatures expected to ease along the Atlantic coast on Tuesday and a chance of showers in the late afternoon.

___

Associated Press writer John Leicester in Le Pecq, France contributed to this story.

UK breaks its record for highest temperature as heat builds Source link UK breaks its record for highest temperature as heat builds

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