UK weather: Hottest day of the year as temperatures soar

Bournemouth BeachImage copyright PA Media
Image caption Bournemouth Beach in Dorset drew crowds of sun-worshippers

The UK is having its hottest day of the year, with temperatures expected to soar up to 34C in southern England.

Readings of 33C (91.4F) were taken at Heathrow and elsewhere in west London on Saturday afternoon, the Met Office said.

Friday was previously the warmest day of 2019, with temperatures reaching 30C (86F) at Achnagart in the Highlands.

A heatwave across Europe saw France record its all-time highest temperature of 45.9C (114.6F) on Friday.

BBC Weather said London could reach 34C (93F) on Saturday, which would fall short of the 35.6C (96F) June record set in 1976.

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Image caption A beach netball tournament on Boscombe Beach in Bournemouth on Saturday
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Image caption People in Chipping Norton in Oxfordshire headed to the lido
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Image caption Some went to Bournemouth Beach in Dorset

Central and eastern parts of the UK “will be hot and humid”, BBC forecaster Gemma Plumb said.

“There will also be a lot of sunshine through today and so the UV levels will be very high.”

People flocking to the seaside were forced to take detours after the M5 was closed in Somerset in both directions because of problems with overhead power cables.

At Glastonbury Festival in Somerset, the temperature was expected to peak at 28C (82.4F), with organisers giving away free sun cream and water to help combat the heat.

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Image caption People queue at a water refill point at Glastonbury
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Image caption A festival-goer drinks water in the heat
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Image caption Glastonbury’s organisers gave out free sun cream to help combat the heat
Image copyright PA Media
Image caption Two women keep cool at the festival as temperatures reached 27C

But, Gemma Plumb said: “It does look as though some heavy showers and thunderstorms will move into northern parts of the UK as the day progresses and into this evening.”

The Met Office has issued a yellow warning of thunderstorms for parts of northern England and southeast Scotland for Saturday evening.

On Sunday, it is expected to “feel fresher” across the UK, with winds from the west.

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Media captionRising heat and humidity forecast for the UK

England’s most senior nurse called on people to “check in on neighbours and loved ones who can suffer the most from heat and pollen”.

Ruth May, chief nursing officer for England, also said it was important to drink plenty of water, use a high-factor sunscreen and take allergy medication if you need it.

NHS England and emergency services have also warned the public to take extra care.

It follows the death of 12-year-old Shukri Yahya Abdi, who drowned in the River Irwell in Greater Manchester on Thursday.

And animal charity the RSPCA issued advice for pet owners to help them keep their animals cool.

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