Hottest day of the year confirmed: London basks in 28C as heat warning issued

15 June 2022, 17:06 | Updated: 15 June 2022, 17:21

People flocked to beaches and parks to enjoy the hot weather.
People flocked to beaches and parks to enjoy the hot weather. Picture: Alamy

By Sophie Barnett

Today has officially been named the hottest day of the year so far after St James's Park in London basked in 28C heat.

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The new record is set to be surpassed later this week as the UK's heatwave continues, with the hot weather building to a "crescendo" on Friday as temperatures soar to a sweltering 34C.

There's a chance we could see the UK's hottest ever June day on Friday - beating the 35.6C recorded in Southampton in 1976, the year of a notorious summer heatwave.

The Met Office and the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) has issued a level three heat alert for the upcoming days for London, East of England and the South East, following the predicted rising temperatures.

This follows the level 2 alert issued on Tuesday and confirms that the Met Office’s threshold temperatures for an alert will be reached in three regions from Friday.

A Level 2 alert remains in place for the East Midlands and South West.

Read more: Hot weather warning issued as temperatures set to hit 33C

St James's Park in London has officially recorded 28C - making it the hottest day of the year.
St James's Park in London has officially recorded 28C - making it the hottest day of the year. Picture: Alamy

Temperatures are set to rise further on Thursday, with predicted highs of 29C in London and the surrounding area.

The warm flow of weather is coming from Spain and Portugal, where daytime temperatures have exceeded 40C in southern Spain.

Met Office spokesman Grahame Madge said: "We have got high pressure at the moment so we are getting a certain amount of natural home-grown heat building up because obviously we have got clear skies and fairly dry ground conditions across southern England.

"We have also got warmer air being brought up from further south in Europe where there has been a major heat incident, particularly in Iberia, so that's leading to the sort of crescendo we will see on Friday.

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"Because of the direction of the flow, with the weather pattern we have got set up in our latitude, that is encouraging this warm flow of air to come further north.

"We have got the heat building day by day. The next couple of days will be hotter than the preceding day. We think at the moment, although there is some uncertainty, that the weather temperatures will peak on Friday and then largely we will be in for a cooler day on Saturday.

"Heat may remain potentially into Saturday but for most parts of the UK, because we have got a cold front moving down from further north, we will see temperatures coming back down - but they may just hang on in southern England."

However, not everywhere in the UK is experiencing a heatwave, with cloudy skies over western Scotland meaning temperatures today haven't gone above 12C in Stornoway in the Western Isles.