Hotter than Barbados! Britain basks as temperature soars to 85 degrees

 

With beaches packed, barbecue sales soaring and warnings of traffic jams, Britons look set to enjoy summer's last hurrah this weekend in traditional style – even if it is officially autumn.

Today is expected to be the hottest October day ever as temperatures climb towards the record of 29.4C (85F) set in 1985. It comes after a week in which most of Britain basked in unseasonably warm weather.

Yesterday, Cambridge was the hottest place in the UK at 29.2C, making it warmer than the Mediterranean and even Honolulu and Barbados. But while hopes of a lasting heatwave may be high, forecasters warned that we should enjoy the weather while it lasts.

Temperatures have already started to fall back to normal in Scotland and Northern Ireland, with the north of England likely to follow on Monday. London and the South-east, however, might see cloudless skies until Wednesday, according to the Met Office. People have been making the most of the unusual conditions, which have seen temperatures 10C above normal, fooling spring plants into blooming nearly six months early. Hotels.com reported a more than ten-fold rise in searches of top British seaside destinations. The most popular resort was Broadstairs, Kent, with a 275 per cent increase in hotel searches compared with the same time last year, although traditional destinations such as Salcombe in Devon, Skegness in Lincolnshire and Southend-on-Sea in Essex were also popular online.

Inevitably, travel organisations were warning that the sunshine would lead to hold-ups on major routes, with heavy traffic on coast roads and motorways. Because of the unexpected nature of the heatwave, the authorities have not had time to scale back roadworks, as they do during the summer months when they know there will be extra holiday traffic.

Trafficlink warned motorists to expect tailbacks on the A303 at Stonehenge, on the A64 to Scarborough and the A23 to Brighton. A spokesman said: "There will be a significant number of people squeezing in an extra sunshine break. The heat is likely to bring anything between 30 and 50 per cent more traffic on to the usual summer routes."

This week's record temperatures have been caused by an area of high pressure, anchored off the east coast of the UK, dragging in warm, dry winds from the Sahara. Records have already been set for the hottest 29 September – breaking one set in 1895 – and 30 September. The warmest October day ever was recorded in March, Cambridgeshire, and East Anglia is expected to be among the warmest places again today.

Tesco predicted that this weekend would be a "barbecue bonanza". It expects to sell 3.5 million sausages and 550,000 burgers, as well as 10 million bottles and cans of beer and 3 million bottles of wine.

However, John Lewis blamed the heatwave for a slowdown, as knitwear sales wilted. The retailer said like-for-like sales growth through its 33 stores and website dropped to 0.1 per cent in the week to September 24, against a 15.1 per cent increase a year ago.

Weekend Forecast

Today: Possible record temperatures in East Anglia and the South-east. Elsewhere, expect long periods of sun and unseasonable warmth with temperatures peaking at nearly 30C – more than 10C above normal. Northern Ireland and Scotland will be cooler with some rain.

Tomorrow: Southern England and Wales will again be very warm with lots of sunshine. Temperatures will again be in the high 20s. It will turn chillier in Scotland although clear spells will develop. Cloudy and cool in some parts of Northern England.

Suggested Topics
News
newsGlobal index has ranked the quality of life for OAPs - but the UK didn't even make it into the top 10
News
people

Kirstie Allsopp has waded into the female fertility debate again

Sport
footballArsenal 4 Galatasaray 1: Wenger celebrates 18th anniversary in style
News
people
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
News
people
News
peopleStella McCartney apologises over controversial Instagram picture
News
Gillian Anderson was paid less than her male co-star David Duchovny for three years while she was in the The X-Files until she protested and was given the same salary
people

Gillian Anderson lays into gender disparity in Hollywood

Life and Style
Laid bare: the Good2Go app ensures people have a chance to make their intentions clear about having sex
techCould Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?
Arts and Entertainment
Swiss guards stand in the Sistine Chapel, which is to be lit, and protected, by 7,000 LEDs
art

The Sistine Chapel is set to be illuminated with thousands of LEDs

Arts and Entertainment
Richard Burr remains the baker to beat on the Great British Bake Off
tvRichard remains the baker to beat as Chetna begins to flake
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Amazon has added a cautionary warning to Tom and Jerry cartoons on its streaming service
tv
News
people
News
The village was originally named Llansanffraid-ym-Mechain after the Celtic female Saint Brigit, but the name was changed 150 years ago to Llansantffraid – a decision which suggests the incorrect gender of the saint
newsA Welsh town has changed its name - and a prize if you can notice how
Arts and Entertainment
Kristen Scott Thomas in Electra at the Old Vic
theatreReview: Kristin Scott Thomas is magnificent in a five-star performance of ‘Electra’
Life and Style
Couples who boast about their relationship have been condemned as the most annoying Facebook users
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Hayley Williams performs with Paramore in New York
musicParamore singer says 'Steal Your Girl' is itself stolen from a New Found Glory hit
News
i100
Sport
Ronaldinho signs the t-shirt of a pitch invader
footballProof they are getting bolder
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

Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + Uncapped Commission, 1st yr OTE £30-£40k : SThree:...

Middleware Support Analyst

£45000 - £50000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client is curr...

Senior Java Developer/Designer

£400 - £450 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: My client are looking fo...

Domino Developer and Administrator

£40000 - £45000 Per Annum + benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Domino ...

Day In a Page

Italian couples fake UK divorce scam on an ‘industrial scale’

Welcome to Maidenhead, the divorce capital of... Italy

A look at the the legal tourists who exploited our liberal dissolution rules
Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

The vintage series has often been criticised for racial stereotyping
An app for the amorous: Could Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?

An app for the amorous

Could Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?
Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid. Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?

Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid

Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?
Charlotte Riley: At the peak of her powers

Charlotte Riley: At the peak of her powers

After a few early missteps with Chekhov, her acting career has taken her to Hollywood. Next up is a role in the BBC’s gangster drama ‘Peaky Blinders’
She's having a laugh: Britain's female comedians have never had it so good

She's having a laugh

Britain's female comedians have never had it so good, says stand-up Natalie Haynes
Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LED lights designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows

Let there be light

Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LEDs designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows
Great British Bake Off, semi-final, review: Richard remains the baker to beat

Tensions rise in Bake Off's pastry week

Richard remains the baker to beat as Chetna begins to flake
Paris Fashion Week, spring/summer 2015: Time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris

A look to the future

It's time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris
The 10 best bedspreads

The 10 best bedspreads

Before you up the tog count on your duvet, add an extra layer and a room-changing piece to your bed this autumn
Arsenal vs Galatasaray: Five things we learnt from the Emirates

Arsenal vs Galatasaray

Five things we learnt from the Gunners' Champions League victory at the Emirates
Stuart Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

This deal gives England a head-start to prepare for 2019 World Cup, says Chris Hewett
Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

The children orphaned by Ebola...

... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

Are censors pandering to homophobia?

US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
The magic of roundabouts

Lords of the rings

Just who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?