What is the highest UK temperature on record?

18 July 2022, 11:24 | Updated: 20 July 2022, 11:38

Thermometer and girl wearing sunglasses on beach
UK heatwave: England temperatures broke records in July 2022. Picture: Getty

By Zoe Adams

Record breaking temperatures were recorded in England on July 19 following extreme heat and weather warnings from the Met Office.

The Met Office issued their first ever red alert for extreme weather as temperatures across England were set to soar during a heatwave in July 2022.

London and the South East in particular were likely to see all-time highs with forecasters giving warnings of 41°C.

Met Office chief executive Penny Endersby warned of “absolutely unprecedented” conditions, with a national emergency having also been declared by the UK Health Security Agency ahead of the heatwave.

Read more: Tears and devastation as scores of homes destroyed in heatwave as UK braces for storms

Read more: 'UK not built to stand 40C': Shapps says transport can't cope with extreme weather

So did the July 2022 heatwave break official Met Office records? What is the hottest temperature to ever be recorded in the UK? Here are the details.

People sunbathing in the heatwave
London and the South East were forecast to endure the warmest temperatures. Picture: Alamy

What is the hottest temperature recorded in the UK?

The July heatwave in 2022 broke all records as the hottest ever temperature was reached.

On July 19, a temperature of 40.3°C was recorded in Coningsby, Lincolnshire. The heat was so extreme during this time that grass fires broke out across London.

Before this, the highest temperature ever recorded in the UK to date was 38.7°C which was taken in Cambridge in 2019.

The weather peaked on July 25, at the Botanic Gardens.

Prior to that, the hottest temperature on record was 38.5°C, in Faversham, Kent, which was noted on August 10, 2003.

The Met Office has warned the likeliness of an extreme heatwave in the UK could happen every three years due to climate changes.

Health alert issued as 38C heatwave begins

What is the hottest temperature ever recorded in the world?

According to the Guinness Book of Records, the hottest ever day on record was an incredible 56.7°C.

This was recorded on July 10 1913 at Death Valley, California in the United States.

When did weather records begin?

As people begin looking into the hottest ever temperatures in the UK and worldwide, a big factor people are considering is when weather data first began to be collected.

So what does 'since records began' really mean when experts refer to the hottest and coldest days? The Met Office officially began doing widespread observations from 1910.

Anything recorded prior to this date are limited to small areas or not as standardised as the records we see today.