LONG HOT SUMMER UK heatwave warning – what was the hottest day of the year so far and how many heatwaves will there be in 2018?

Britain is basking in a scorching 30C heatwave with forecasters predicting as many as eight could hit the UK in 2018

25 July 2018 - 10:10

SUNSEEKERS have been basking happily in 30C weather for the past few weeks as a sizzling heatwave grips Britain.

And as forecasters are predicting a long hot summer with more heatwaves on the way, here is what you need to k

The hottest day of the year so far has now been recorded as Tuesday, July 23.

Temperatures of 33.3C (90F) were recorded in Godalming, Surrey, where roads melted in the heat.

June was Britain's hottest for over 40 years.

The scorching summer of 1976 was the hottest summer since records began.

It led to a severe drought owing to the exceptionally dry conditions, although it is thought that 1995 was drier.

In the summer of 1976, Heathrow had 16 consecutive days over 30C from June 23 to July 8, and for 15 consecutive days from June 23 to July 7 temperatures reached 32.2C somewhere in England.

But the single hottest temperature of 38.5C was set on August 10, 2003.

However, the Met Office is warning that the hottest day of the year could be on its way next week with temperatures predicted to rise to a sizzling 33C or 34C.

How many heatwaves will there be in 2018?

Forecasters predicted that there could be as many as eight heatwaves this summer.

AccuWeather meteorologist Jim Andrews said: “The UK is looking at a range of five to eight more spells which we would call heatwaves this summer.

“It would certainly be reasonable to expect 34C highs this summer. Heat will build in the UK this summer due to high pressure, the sun heating the land, and heat arriving from as far away as Spain.”

What should you do during a heatwave?

When the mercury shoots up there are several obvious precautions to take.

It is advised to make sure you drink a lot of water to make sure you stay hydrated during the hot spell.

Keeping a bottle of sunscreen with you to soak up those UV rays is also highly advisable as is ensuring you have a hat to prevent sunstroke.

What is a heatwave and what happens during one?

The World Meteorological Organisation definition of a heatwave is "when the daily maximum temperature of more than five consecutive days exceeds the average maximum temperature by 5C, the normal period being 1961-1990".

They are most common in summer when high pressure develops across an area.

High-pressure systems are slow moving and can persist over an area for a prolonged period of time such as days or weeks.

They can occur in the UK due to the location of the jet stream, which is usually to the north of the UK in the summer.

This can allow high pressure to develop over the UK resulting in persistent dry and settled weather.

The current heat caused train tracks to buckle, fires to rage through scorched moorland and people struggling to sleep at night.

The heat posed a threat to life in the Peak District where crews were called out to battle wildfires on Sunday night and Monday afternoon.

Thick plumes of smoke were seen rising above the hills in Saddleworth, with reports of ash raining down on people's homes.

Meanwhile speed restrictions were imposed on some of Britain's railways, including the line from London Waterloo to New Malden, over concern tracks would buckle.

Andy Thomas of Network Rail said the tracks in direct sunlight could sore to 20C above air temperature.

He said this causes the "steel to expand markedly, and could buckle, causing travel disruption".

And a pavement in Kirkgate, Leith, warped and rose in temperatures of up to 24C.

now about the sunny times ahead...

Casualties have already occurred in the hot weather, as a man drowned after going for a swim in a Surrey lake yesterday, and a teen's body was pulled from Westport Lake.

Public Health England warned the high temperatures pose a serious health risk to young children and the elderly.

A weather warning could be put in place this week as the UK is set to be hit by record-high temperatures with predictions that temperatures could reach a sizzling 33C.

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