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UK weather: Thousands of staycation families hit beaches on 36C Saturday scorcher
8 August 2020, 11:10
Thousands are flocking to beaches on a scorching Saturday as heatwave temperatures soar again to highs of 36C.
Forecasters say more records could be broken this weekend, including for overnight temperatures, after Friday’s 36.4C peak at Heathrow and Kew Gardens made it the hottest August day in 17 years.
The Met Office said Saturday's mercury will “rise well above average once again, with a peak around 36C across south-east England”.
Sunseekers were told to avoid a series of beaches on Friday as overcrowding made social distancing impossible, as ”staycation” families ground roads to a halt and packed out car parks amid continuing curbs on European travel.
But by mid-morning on Saturday, Bournemouth beach was already filling up with hundreds of sunbathers, while Sussex Police turned cars away at an "extremely busy" Camber Sands as early as 10am.
Forecaster Marco Petagna said: “Temperatures will probably be peaking at 35C with a small chance of 36C - it is still very hot.”
He said there is a bit of cloud in the South East but there will be a lot of dry weather and plenty of sunshine around.
He added: “It will still be very hot in the South East but with the potential for an isolated shower to break out.”
A breeze along the North Sea coast will keep temperatures in the high teens there, while England and Wales will generally see the high 20Cs or low 30Cs - while it will be cooler in Scotland and Northern Ireland.
The record for the hottest August day is 38.5C, set at Faversham on 10 August, 2003.
The current record maximum temperature for the UK is 38.7C, reached in Cambridge Botanic Garden on 25 July last year.
On Friday afternoon, Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council's beach check app showed 19 of its 24 beaches under red alert, warning people to avoid the areas because safe social distancing was impossible.
Dylan Bullard, a councillor from Pwllheli, North Wales, said the seaside town was a scene of "bedlam" on Friday.
"If you're thinking of coming into town, please consider leaving it to later. The car parks are full and cars are parked illegally," he told the Telegraph. "Social distancing is impossible at the moment, and people are queuing to get into shops."
Capacity has been reached - @RotherDC , @sussex_police , @RNLI and @SECAmbulance are all on duty in the area. Please stay safe, stay socially distanced and above all show respect for the local residents. https://t.co/x7djDuEDvC— Martin Watson (@TheWatson999) August 8, 2020
The Met Office issued a level three heat-health warning for the South and South East, meaning the public should look out for others, particularly the elderly, children and people in poor health.
Travel chaos is expected this weekend as The AA said it anticipates up to 10% more journeys from Friday afternoon.
Travellers on a getaway were urged not to deluge seaside destinations in south-west England, Blackpool, the Welsh coast and Norfolk.
Meanwhile, the RNLI rescue charity has urged beachgoers to be mindful of coastal dangers.
HM Coastguard said around 70 callouts had been made across the UK by midday on Friday, which is "above average for this time of year".
The sweltering heat will continue to bake many southern areas until at least Monday, but thunderstorms are brewing, the Met Office warned.
Dan Harris, Met Office deputy chief meteorologist, said a broad thunderstorm warning has been issued for all parts of the UK on Monday and Tuesday, with some areas braced for 80mm of rain in just a few hours.
However, he said it is too early to determine where the worst storms will occur.