UK sees hottest day of 2021 so far as temperatures soar to 31.6C

Sunday has been the hottest day of the year so far

Sunday 18 July 2021 19:55
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<p>People cool off in the sea at Brighton beach on the hottest day of 2021 so far</p>

People cool off in the sea at Brighton beach on the hottest day of 2021 so far

The UK has recorded the hottest day of the year so far after temperatures rose past 31C in parts of southern England.

The temperature reached 31.6C at Heathrow and 30.2C in Cardiff.

The warm weather is predicted to continue into tonight and tomorrow, the day the last of the Covid-19 restrictions are due to be lifted in England.

As the week progresses the highest temperatures are likely to be in the west.

The high temperatures mark the beginning of an official heatwave across the UK, as in London and the southeast, temperatures must exceed 28C for at least three days to record a heatwave, and Sunday is the third day.

Beachgoers shelter underneath an umbrella on Brighton beach during the hottest day of the year so far

In a bid to escape the heat, thousands of people headed to the coast with beaches such as Brighton, Bournemouth and Weston-super-Mare packed with visitors.

In cities, those who could not get to the coast attempted to cool down in parks.

In Dorset, seafront car parks reached capacity, Durdle Door road access was closed due to car parks being full and Bournemouth’s Pier Approach flyover was also closed due to the volume of traffic.

Sunday’s sweltering temperatures topped off a scorching weekend that saw all four nations in the UK record new highs.

Northern Ireland experienced its hottest day ever on Saturday afternoon with 31.2C recorded in Ballywatticock, in County Down, beating the previous highest temperature of 30.8C, which was reached on 12 July 1983 and 30 June 1976.

On Saturday temperatures of 30.3C were recorded in Coton In The Elms, Derbyshire; 29.6C reached in Usk, Monmouthshire, Wales; and 28.2C in Threave, in the Dumfries and Galloway region of Scotland – all the highest of the year so far at that point.

Scotland and Northern Ireland did not beat records on Sunday, recording highs of 26.1C in Threave and 25.5C in Thomastown, respectively.

Becky Mitchell, a meteorologist at the Met Office, said: “We could get up to 32C next week, it is possible each day for different places in the country.

“The most likely areas to get 32C are parts of the Midlands and down towards southwest England and potentially London. They are all going to see the highest temperatures in the coming days.”

The Met Office is working with Public Health England to ensure that people stay safe in the hot conditions, urging the public to stay hydrated, wear sunscreen and assist anyone who is more vulnerable to the heat.

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