Extreme UK weather live: Temperatures could reach a record 41C in an ‘unprecedented’ day | Extreme weather conditions

UK records hottest night ever

The UK recorded its provisionally hottest night from Monday to Tuesday.

The mercury never dropped below 25C in places, the Met Office said this morning. This beats the previous overnight high of 23.9C at Brighton in August 1990.

The key events:

The London Ambulance Service reported a slight increase of 999 calls for fainting and heat exposure on Monday.

Brian Jordan, director of 999 operations for the London Ambulance Service, told BBC Radio 4 the service received 6,600 emergency calls yesterday, slightly fewer than expected.

“We really hope it’s because the public really listened to the messages about how they can take care of themselves and only call 999 if it’s a real emergency,” Jordan said.

“People had a very long day yesterday and there were high temperatures overnight, and with the temperatures even hotter today, I can’t stress enough that people need to keep doing what we were asking them yesterday – to avoid prolonged exposure to the sun, to stay hydrated, to look after more vulnerable friends, families, neighbors and to use sunscreen, etc.

For advice on how to manage temperatures, my colleague Nicholas Davis has this guide to staying cool:

The Met Office tweeted this graphic to give details on what to expect on Tuesday:

The hot weather has triggered health warnings as there is a higher risk of heat exhaustion and heat stroke, dehydration as well as respiratory problems from heavy pollution.

People were urged to stay indoors during the hottest part of the day – between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. – and to wear sunscreen, a hat, stay in the shade and hydrate with the water.

A construction worker digging a road in Manchester’s Northern Quarter wipes sweat from his face. Photograph: Joel Goodman/The Guardian

There have been warnings about swimming in lakes, rivers and reservoirs after three people died in waters in England and a fourth was reported missing, drowned.

There is a higher risk of forest fires, with people being urged not to use barbecues or leave rubbish that could start fires in the countryside – while zoos and animal parks have been closed to protect animals, staff and visitors.

Water companies have seen “unprecedented peak demand”, with people being encouraged to “look carefully” at their water usage and urged not to waste it.

UK Transport Secretary Grant Shapps was on Sky News this morning to say problems on rails and roads will continue for decades during extreme heat waves.

Asked how long it will take to upgrade existing rail infrastructure to be more resilient, Shapps said: “Decades, in fact, to replace everything. Same with Tarmac on the roads.

“There is a long process of replacing and upgrading to withstand temperatures, either very hot or sometimes much colder than what we are used to, and these are the impacts of global warming.

He said no Cobra meeting was scheduled for Tuesday, with the prime minister instead chairing the cabinet.

Boris Johnson was accused on Monday of ‘checking in’ for missing an emergency Cobra meeting over the scorching heat. Instead, he attended the Farnborough Air Show, where he gave a whimsical speech about performing a loop and roll in a Typhoon fighter jet.

On Tuesday, Shapps denied that Johnson had been “examined.” He said: “It’s literally not true, in fact, the exact opposite is the truth.”

‘Unprecedented’ day ahead as UK temperatures could hit 41C

Hello and welcome to our extreme weather blog.

The UK is bracing for the hottest day on record on Tuesday as forecasters said temperatures could reach 41C.

The mercury is set to rise higher than Monday – already the hottest day of the year at 38.1C (at Santon Downham, Suffolk), although slightly below the UK heat record of 38.7C C. This was fixed at Cambridge in July 2019 but could be broken today.

Rachel Ayers of the Met Office told PA Media that Tuesday was going to be “unprecedented”. She said: ‘The temperature will be very hot throughout the day, before rising to 40C, possibly even 41C in isolated places across England during the afternoon.

“This will make it the hottest day on record and the first time we will see temperatures as high as 40C.”

Scotland and Wales could also have their hottest days on record. Holyrood minister Keith Brown urged people “to consider whether they need to travel and, if they do, to ensure they are properly equipped and to plan their journey in advance”.

Travel routes will be affected by the heat and National Rail has told customers to only travel when absolutely necessary. The operator said: “There will be delays, cancellations and last minute changes to train services due to the unprecedented record heat on these days.”

No Thameslink or Great Northern trains will run north of London, from London Blackfriars via St Pancras, or from London King’s Cross or London Moorgate on Tuesday.

Merseyrail said the number of trains running and journey times would be “severely affected” with some routes closed completely. LNER will not run any trains from South York and South Leeds to London King’s Cross.

Southern, South Eastern, South Western Railway and Great Western Railway are among dozens of rail companies offering significantly reduced services across the country.

Transport for London (TfL) said London’s rail network would also operate a reduced service on Tuesday due to safety restrictions put in place to deal with the heat.

My name is Fran Lawther and I will keep you up to date with the latest weather news, analysis and tips on how to handle the heat. Please contact us for any updates for your region. You can email me at fran.lawther@theguardian.com.

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