Britain has recorded its highest ever temperature as the 40C (104F) mark was provisionally broken for the first time, at Heathrow airport.
The previous record, of 38.7C in 2019, fell first when 39.1C was provisionally recorded on Tuesday morning at Charlwood in Surrey, and then 40.2C was reported at Heathrow at 12.50pm, the Met Office said.
The soaring temperatures came after the hottest night on record, and the highest minimum temperature in a 24-hour period was recorded in Kenley in south London, of 25.8C in the 24 hours to 10am on Tuesday.
Firefighters battled a blaze at a beauty spot in the West Midlands, households in the south-east were told to save water by switching off washing machines, and the transport secretary, Grant Shapps, admitted it would take decades to make road and rail infrastructure resilient enough to cope with the heating climate.
As the east coast mainline closed from Yorkshire to London because of the heat, Shapps said it would take decades to make the UK’s roads and railways fit for the high temperatures seen this week.
h/t Feckless Asterix