UK weather: Heatwave to continue after England and Wales see hottest day of the year so far

18 July 2021, 12:49 | Updated: 18 July 2021, 23:15

The UK heatwave is set to continue after England and Wales recorded their hottest day of the year so far on Sunday.

Highs of 31.6C (88.9F) were recorded at Heathrow and 30.2C (86.4F) in Cardiff, according to the Met Office.

Sunday's scorching temperatures top off a weekend of records that saw all four UK nations reach new highs.

It was the hottest day ever in Northern Ireland on Saturday, with 31.2C recorded in Ballywatticock, in County Down, at 3.40pm, beating the previous highest temperature of 30.8C, reached on 12 July 1983 and 30 June 1976.

In England, 30.3C was recorded in Coton In The Elms in Derbyshire on Saturday, surpassing the 29.7C recorded in south-west London on 14 June.

Also on Saturday, record temperatures were recorded in Usk, Monmouthshire, Wales, at 29.6C, and in Threave, in the Dumfries and Galloway region of Scotland, at 28.2C.

The hot weather is set to continue, with Becky Mitchell, a meteorologist at the Met Office, saying: "We could get up to 32C (89.6F) 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 south-west 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.

Thousands headed to beaches across the country over the weekend, including Weston-super-Mare and Brighton, with people seen cooling off on surf boards and inflatables in the sea.

Away from the coast in Birmingham a fun fair owner created a sandy beach for his customers to make the most of the sunshine.

Owner of Digbeth fun fair, Abie Danter, told Sky News: "It's been a tough 12 months [for the business].

"We only got open last year for roughly three weeks, hopefully the sun does bring [customers] in and it isn't too hot."

The extended hot spell of weather is expected to last for much of the week ahead, perhaps even to next weekend, with temperatures in some parts of the country due to hit the high twenties.

Tom Morgan, meteorologist at the Met Office, said "people are really going to feel the effects of the heat as we go through this week".

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

This requirement drops to 27C (80.6F) in the Midlands and 26C (78.8F) in the South West, which has also been met on Sunday and is also expected to continue throughout the week.

Public Health England (PHE) and the Met Office warned people to take care during the hot spell, advising people to stay hydrated, apply sunscreen and not to leave children or pets in cars.

PHE urged people to look out for others who may struggle in the heat, such as older people and those who live alone.

And emergency services have responded to several incidents of people getting into trouble in water.

Greater Manchester Police said despite a rescue operation, a 19-year-old man died at Salford Quays on Sunday.

The force tweeted: "Our thoughts are with this young man's family and friends, and the people who witnessed the tragic events.

"We will provide further updates when we have them."

Further south in Witney, near Oxford, Thames Valley Police said a teenage girl had been brought from the water and taken to hospital.

"Officers attended Ducklington Lake, Witney at 2.35pm today, after a fear for welfare report concerning a teenage girl in the water," TVP West Oxon tweeted.

"Police, fire, and ambulance services attended, and the girl was brought from the water and has been taken to hospital."

The force advised people to avoid the area.