UK records hottest day of year so far as mercury hits 32.2C at Heathrow

20 July 2021, 17:43 | Updated: 20 July 2021, 18:54

Crowds of beach-goers at Lyme Regis in Dorset over the weekend
Crowds of beach-goers at Lyme Regis in Dorset over the weekend. Picture: Alamy
Nick Hardinges

By Nick Hardinges

Brits have basked in the hottest day of the year so far as the temperature reached a sweltering 32.2C (89.96F) at Heathrow Airport on Tuesday.

It comes just days after the previous high for the year - 31.6C - was recorded on Sunday, also at Heathrow.

However, some parts of the country were experiencing thunderstorms at the time of the announcement, with the South East of England seeing intermittent downpours in the early evening.

The Met Office issued its first-ever 'extreme' heat warning on Monday, covering a large part of Wales, all of South West England and parts of southern and central England.

Read more: First-ever amber extreme heat warning issued as temperatures climb

Read more: Heatwave continues with 32C scorcher forecast

The warning, which will remain in force until the end of Thursday, is designed to warn the public of potential widespread disruption and adverse health effects as a result of weather conditions.

It covers a large part of Wales, all of south-west England and parts of southern and central England.

The new record for 2021 comes after temperature records were set in England, Wales and Scotland over the weekend.

Wales recorded 30.2C (86.36F) in Cardiff, compared with 29.6C (85.28F) reached in Usk, Monmouthshire, on Saturday.

Read more: Mini-heatwave brings hottest day of the year

Read more: Heat health alert issued in England over weekend

"The high temperatures are going to continue through a large part of this week,” Met Office chief operational meteorologist Steven Ramsdale said on Monday.

"Many areas will continue to reach heatwave thresholds but the amber extreme heat warning focusses on western areas where the most unusually high temperatures are likely to persist.

"There's a continuing risk of isolated thundery downpours late in the afternoons but most areas will stay dry until later in the week.

"Temperatures should begin to fall for most areas heading into the weekend, with some more unsettled conditions looking to develop."

Temperatures could soar as high as 33C in some places by the end of the week, the Met Office said earlier on Tuesday.

The 33C mark, which is hotter than top European holiday destinations such as Marbella, Mykonos and Tenerife, could be reached between Tuesday and Thursday.

Forecasters have warned people to stay out of the sun during the afternoon, close their curtains to keep living rooms cool, stay out of direct sunlight and drink water.

Public Health England (PHE) also issued a heat-health alert, warning members of the public to take measures to stay cool and look out for vulnerable people.