Britain braced for another sizzler

Baking Britain was set to hit record temperatures again today as the country sweltered in the grip of heatwave conditions.

Temperatures soared to 31.8C (89.24F) in Wisley, Surrey, yesterday, as June became the hottest month in three years.



With the heatwave hitting areas around London hardest, legions of workers swapped their suit trousers for shorts and took extended lunch breaks to make the most of the weather.



Staff should be encouraged to wear shorts during the sweltering heat to make work more bearable and prevent them "collapsing" at their desks, the TUC urged.



The weather has prompted the Government to set up a heatwave advice page on its own Directgov website as NHS Direct received hundreds of calls from patients suffering symptoms related to the heat.



Gareth Harvey, a forecaster for MeteoGroup, the weather arm of the Press Association, said today could match yesterday - the hottest day of the year.



He said: "This has been the hottest week we have had in several years. Areas of west London could be hottest."



NHS Direct received 378 calls on Monday from people suffering symptoms related to the heat.



As the capital's heatwave saw temperatures even higher than Bangkok, Trafalgar Square's fountains turned green as algae spread.



Animals were also receiving help to stay cool. Staff at London Zoo were feeding gorillas ice blocks, monkeys at Bristol Zoo were enjoying ice cream, while tapirs at Port Lympne Wild Animal Park near Ashford, Kent, were daubed with suncream by keepers.



The last month has been the hottest, driest and sunniest since July 2006.



The average maximum temperature ranged from 22.3C at Heathrow airport to 12.9C at Fair Isle, between Orkney and Shetland, while the average minimum temperature varied between 12.7C at St James's Park in London to 6C at Altnaharra in Sutherland.



The weather has sent sales of electrical fans and ice-cream soaring.



Martin Doherty, commercial manager at Tesco, said: "This week's sunshine has meant that demand for fans has soared, and with more hot weather on the way, we would expect other summer products to be off the shelves."



David Whiffen, Sainsbury's ice cream buyer, said: "We're expecting the best week for ice cream since the heat wave of 2006."



Keepers at Bristol Zoo Gardens took the unusual step of feeding their macaque monkeys ice cream cones, topped with carrot sticks as flakes.



John Partridge, Bristol Zoo Gardens' senior curator of animals, said: "Giving fruit or fish with ice to our animals is a great way of helping them to keep cool in this hot weather.



"It is also an interesting treat for them."



A London Zoo spokeswoman said: "In this really hot weather we give the gorillas ice lollies which we make in buckets.



"We put fruit inside the ice lollies which they try to get out by standing on the blocks.



"Our gorilla group also have air conditioning inside their enclosure so they can go inside and outside into the heat as they please."



Businesses said Andy Murray's progress at Wimbledon was posing a greater threat to employees' attendance.



A spokesman for the British Chambers of Commerce said: "On the whole, it's business as usual during the hot weather.



"In reality, it's the progress of Andy Murray at Wimbledon that risks employees slinking off a little earlier than usual."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Account Manager

£20000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This full service social media ...

Recruitment Genius: Data Analyst - Online Marketing

£24000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We are 'Changemakers in retail'...

Austen Lloyd: Senior Residential Conveyancer

Very Competitive: Austen Lloyd: Senior Conveyancer - South West We are see...

Austen Lloyd: Residential / Commercial Property Solicitor

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: DORSET MARKET TOWN - SENIOR PROPERTY SOLICITOR...

Day In a Page

Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there