Britain set to bake in 31C temperatures again following hottest day of the year – as the Met Office say September to have record six days above 30C

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Britain is set to bake in 31C temperatures again today following the hottest day of the year – as the Met Office say September is to have a record six days of 30C.

Yesterday was provisionally the hottest day of the year so far, with 32.6C recorded in Wisley, Surrey, the forecaster said.

The previous highest temperature for the year was set in June at 32.2C.

The heatwave has already broken the record for the most consecutive days with temperatures above 30C in September, with Saharan dust generating vivid sunsets and sunrises in the clear conditions.

Thursday was the fourth day above 30C, beating the record of three days seen on four previous occasions, most recently in 2016.

Met Office meteorologist Simon Partridge said: ‘If we do see 30C all the way through until Sunday, which it looks fairly sure it will be, that will be six days in a row that we have reached 30C.

Britain is set to bake in 31C temperatures again today following the hottest day of the year - as the Met Office say September is to have a record six days of 30C

Britain is set to bake in 31C temperatures again today following the hottest day of the year – as the Met Office say September is to have a record six days of 30C

Yesterday was provisionally the hottest day of the year so far, with 32.6C recorded in Surrey

Yesterday was provisionally the hottest day of the year so far, with 32.6C recorded in Surrey

BRIGHTON: Sun-seekers rushed to the beach yesterday, retreating from packed sweaty cities amid the searing 32C heat that scorched the country

BRIGHTON: Sun-seekers rushed to the beach yesterday, retreating from packed sweaty cities amid the searing 32C heat that scorched the country

LONDON: Pedestrians walk across London Bridge in the capital yesterday amid the very hot weather

LONDON: A woman cools off in front of a large fan at a London Underground station in the heat yesterday

LONDON: A man sleeps on a bench in London in the bright sunshine yesterday as the heatwave continues

LONDON: A man sleeps on a bench in London in the bright sunshine yesterday as the heatwave continues

LONDON: Commuters pack on to a hot Jubilee line Underground train at London Bridge station yesterday

LONDON: Commuters pack on to a hot Jubilee line Underground train at London Bridge station yesterday

‘Previously in September we’ve only reached 30C three days in a row.

‘So although it’s not the the hottest spell of weather we’ve had in September, in terms of prolonged hot weather it is twice as long as we have previously had.’

READ MORE: Thursday the hottest day of the year, Met Office says – as Britain sweats in scorching 32C heatwave, with high temperatures set to last all week

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September’s highest daily temperature reading was 35.6C recorded on September 2 1906 in South Yorkshire, according to the Met Office.

But Mr Partridge said there was ‘no chance’ that the September daily temperature record could be broken in the coming days.

He said: ‘There is potential that we might get a little bit warmer over the weekend, not by a massive amount, but enough to make it the warmest day of the year so far again.

‘It is always going to be around 32C, close to 33C at the maximum temperature.’

Prolonged heat above 30C leaves older people and those with respiratory or cardiovascular diseases at greater risk, as the UK Health Security Agency issued an amber warning until 9pm on Sunday in nearly every area of England.

A yellow heat alert is in place until the same time in the north east of England.

The Met Office added there could be heavy thundery showers on Sunday across England and Wales but temperatures will remain high.

Temperatures are also expected to remain high overnight.

Mr Partridge said: ‘The biggest knock-on effect at the moment is those overnight temperatures because in parts of south-west England and Wales (Wednesday) night many places didn’t dip below 19C, which is not easy.

‘We will continue to see temperatures in the mid to high teens overnight. A few spots could again not dip below 20C, so it’s very warm and muggy nights.’

The high temperatures are expected to continue through the weekend, peaking as high as 33C on Saturday.

The Met Office yesterday said in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter: ‘After getting very close yesterday, today is provisionally the hottest day of the year so far, with 32.60C recorded in Wisley.’

London Mayor Sadiq Khan yesterday activated an emergency severe weather response for the capital. 

LONDON: As London faced scorching temperatures this afternoon, swimmers headed to Parliament Hill Lido to cool off with a dive into the pool

LONDON: As London faced scorching temperatures this afternoon, swimmers headed to Parliament Hill Lido to cool off with a dive into the pool

LONDON: Londoners headed to Parliament Hill Lido, which was packed full of swimmers looking to dive under the heatwave

LONDON: Londoners headed to Parliament Hill Lido, which was packed full of swimmers looking to dive under the heatwave

DORSET: Brits headed to beaches yesterday to escape the sizzling heat of the cities to enjoy the warm weather

DORSET: Brits headed to beaches yesterday to escape the sizzling heat of the cities to enjoy the warm weather

Brits have been sharing their funniest memes as the UK is in the midst of a heatwave

Brits have been sharing their funniest memes as the UK is in the midst of a heatwave

People across the UK took to Twitter yesterday to make jokes about the heatwave

People across the UK took to Twitter yesterday to make jokes about the heatwave 

It comes after temperatures soared on Wednesday to 32C (90F) at Kew Gardens in West London, making it the warmest September day in the UK since 2016 and just short of the hottest day of 2023 which was 32.2C (90.0F), recorded both on June 10 and 25. The run of 30C-plus heat began on Monday with 30.2C (86.4F) in Pembrokeshire, before Tuesday hit 30.7C (87.3F) in West Sussex. It is due to last until at least Sunday. 

What records could be broken this week? 

HOTTEST DAY OF THE YEAR?

The current highest temperature of 2023 is 32.2C (90.0F), recorded at Chertsey in Surrey on June 10 and Coningsby in Lincolnshire on June 25.

The Met Office believes temperatures could hit 33C (91F) at some point this week, which would be a 2023 record.

HOTTEST SEPTEMBER NIGHT?

Overnight temperatures in some southern areas could remain above 20C (68F) this week.

The record highest overnight minimum temperature for September is 21.7C (71.1F), which could be challenged.

HOTTEST DAY OF THE YEAR IN SEPTEMBER?

Yesterday’s high of 32C (90F) at Kew Gardens in London was the warmest September day since September 13, 2016, when Kent hit 34.3C (97.7F). 

MOST SEPTEMBER DAYS AT 30C+?

This week could also see the greatest number of September days in total and greatest number of consecutive September days on record where the mercury reaches 30C (86F) or more. 

A run of least 30C (90F) on three consecutive September days has happened just four times on record. This run will be beaten yesterday as the latest period gets to four days.

The September with the most 30C days across the month – not consecutive – was 1911, with five days. This will also likely be broken on Saturday when it will be six days.

WARMEST SEPTEMBER DAY EVER?

This is unlikely to be broken. The warmest September day on record was in 1906 when the mercury hit 35.6C (96.1F) in Bawtry, South Yorkshire.

LONGEST HEATWAVE EVER?

This is also unlikely to be broken. The longest was 1976 when the heatwave threshold was met for 15 days in a row between June 23 and July 7. 

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The UK Health Security Agency has an amber heat health alert until Sunday night in place for all regions of England apart from the North East. Climate and health experts told MailOnline the UK should brace for another wave of excess deaths similar to the 3,000 recorded during last year’s sizzling summer. 

Hundreds of Britons could die this week – with the over 65s, newborn babies and people with health conditions such as heart or lung issues said to be most at risk. 

The Met Office said the hot weather in the southern part of Britain looks set to continue for the rest of the week.

September’s heatwave is likely to peak on Saturday with temperatures rising as high as 33C (91F) in London, the Met Office has said, although further north will be cooler.

The UK Health Security Agency heat health alert means weather impacts are likely to be felt across the health service, with those aged above 65 or those with pre-existing respiratory or cardiovascular disease at greater risk.

Although temperatures have risen this high before in September, it is unusual for the heat to last so long.

Parts of the South are also thought to have endured a tropical night overnight, which is defined as having temperatures over 20C (68F).

The record highest overnight minimum temperature for September in the UK is 21.7C (71.1F).

The temperature last night in the Mumbles in South Wales fell to 21C (69.8F) – meaning it was not quite a record breaker. But the record could again be challenged tonight.

Stephen Dixon of the Met Office said: ‘On four occasions in Met Office climate statistics has September had three consecutive days of temperatures above 30C.

‘Including (Wednesday), we’re up to three on this event and expect to exceed 30C (on Thursday). This would be the most consecutive days of temperatures above 30C in September.’

Clear and settled conditions have also given rise to glowing sunsets and hazy dawns as dust from the Sahara is blowing north in the atmosphere.

CORNWALL: A surfer makes the most of the warm weather in the water off Polzeath in Cornwall yesterday

CORNWALL: A surfer makes the most of the warm weather in the water off Polzeath in Cornwall yesterday

BRIGHTON: Vanessa McIntyre, 25, and Maddie Sykes, 26, from Australia, cool off at Brighton yesterday

BRIGHTON: Vanessa McIntyre, 25, and Maddie Sykes, 26, from Australia, cool off at Brighton yesterday

BRIGHTON: Sunbathers make the most of the heatwave on Brighton beach in East Sussex yesterday

BRIGHTON: Sunbathers make the most of the heatwave on Brighton beach in East Sussex yesterday

LONDON: Joggers go for a morning run at Primrose Hill in North London yesterday shortly after sunrise

LONDON: Joggers go for a morning run at Primrose Hill in North London yesterday shortly after sunrise 

NORTH YORKSHIRE: People enjoy the hot weather underneath the Knaresborough Viaduct in North Yorkshire yesterday

NORTH YORKSHIRE: People enjoy the hot weather underneath the Knaresborough Viaduct in North Yorkshire yesterday

The plume was captured on satellite imagery moving across the Mediterranean and stretching for more than 1,200 miles on its way to the UK and Scandinavia.

Now Sadiq Khan triggers emergency response for London

Sadiq Khan yesterday activated an emergency severe weather response for London as Britain continues to bake through its longest September heatwave on record.

The Mayor brought in London’s Severe Weather Emergency Protocol amid forecasts that temperatures up to 33C (91F) will continue until at least the end of the weekend.

The response aims to help homeless people stay safe in the heat, and is normally only used when the mercury falls to freezing in winter.

But it was also activated in the July 2022 heatwave when UK temperatures hit 40C (104F) for the first time.

Councils across London and homelessness charities will now give vulnerable rough sleepers emergency accommodation and support such as providing water and sunscreen.

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It is contributing to worsening air pollution this week, with hot, still weather known to also increase ground levels of harmful ozone.

Mr Dixon said: ‘Saharan dust is one factor in the air quality forecast.

‘Moderate levels of air pollution are expected across the UK on Saturday, with some high levels also likely for central and eastern parts.

‘Air pollution levels will look to reduce from Sunday, as we start to transition to this more unsettled picture from the north west.’

Dust brings red skies because particles in the atmosphere scatter blue light more than red, which is why the sky appears blue during the day.

When the sun is low in the sky, like at dawn and dusk, the light has farther to travel and so the blue light is scattered too much for us to see it, with the Saharan dust exacerbating this effect and turning the skies a deeper red.

The folklore expression ‘red sky at night, shepherd’s delight’ is true in many cases, the Met Office has said, as it means high pressure and fair weather is moving in from the west, ‘whereas red sky in the morning, shepherd’s warning’ – means that high pressure is beginning to move away.

Mr Dixon said: ‘Saharan dust in the atmosphere is generally decreasing in concentration in the coming days and the remnants of that air is expected to push away as the UK returns to a more mobile Atlantic weather pattern from early next week.’

The heatwave is being driven by tropical storms pushing a high pressure system over the UK, with the jet stream having moved to the north and bending into what is known as an omega blocking pattern.

Named after the Greek letter omega because of its shape, this system occurs when an area of high pressure gets stuck between two areas of low-pressure to the west and east and also slightly south.

LONDON: A man walks across Millennium Bridge in London yesterday amid the very hot weather

LONDON: A man walks across Millennium Bridge in London yesterday amid the very hot weather

CORNWALL: A surfer makes the most of the warm weather in the water off Polzeath in Cornwall yesterday

CORNWALL: A surfer makes the most of the warm weather in the water off Polzeath in Cornwall yesterday

BERKSHIRE: Rowers travel along the River Thames near Maidenhead in Berkshire this morning

BERKSHIRE: Rowers travel along the River Thames near Maidenhead in Berkshire this morning

LONDON: A man adjusts a parasol on the Southbank of the River Thames in London this morning

LONDON: A man adjusts a parasol on the Southbank of the River Thames in London this morning

HAMPSHIRE: People relax in the shade of Winchester Cathedral in Hampshire this morning

HAMPSHIRE: People relax in the shade of Winchester Cathedral in Hampshire this morning

LONDON: Pedestrians walk across London Bridge in the capital yesterday amid the very hot weather

LONDON: Pedestrians walk across London Bridge in the capital yesterday amid the very hot weather

HAMPSHIRE: Landscaper Andrew Thompson mows the grass at the Abbey Gardens in Winchester yesterday

HAMPSHIRE: Landscaper Andrew Thompson mows the grass at the Abbey Gardens in Winchester yesterday

LONDON: Joggers run across Millennium Bridge in London yesterday amid the very hot weather

LONDON: Joggers run across Millennium Bridge in London yesterday amid the very hot weather

Social media users have been posting their funniest memes to express just how hot they are

Social media users have been posting their funniest memes to express just how hot they are

This has brought torrential rain and flooding for Spain and Greece but hot, dry and clear conditions for the UK and central Europe. 

What is causing the heatwave in Britain? 

The heatwave is being driven by tropical storms pushing a high pressure system over the UK, with the jet stream having moved to the north and bended into what is known as an omega blocking pattern.

Named after the Greek letter omega because of its shape, this system occurs when an area of high pressure gets stuck between two areas of low-pressure to the west and east and also slightly south.

This has brought torrential rain and flooding for Spain and Greece but hot, dry and clear conditions for the UK.

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Met Office chief meteorologist Neil Armstrong said: ‘An active tropical cyclone season in the North Atlantic has helped to amplify the pattern across the North Atlantic, pushing the jet stream well to the north of the UK, allowing some very warm air to be drawn north.

‘It’s a marked contrast to the much of meteorological summer, when the UK was on the northern side of the jet stream with cooler air and more unsettled weather.’

The Met Office defines a heatwave as three consecutive days of a particular region exceeding a given threshold, which varies around the UK.

For Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, Cornwall and northern England, the threshold is 25C (77); for Somerset, Hampshire and the Welsh Borders, 26C (79F); the south coast, East Anglia and the East Midlands, 27C (81F); and for London and the home counties the threshold is 28C (82F).

Yesterday was the warmest September day since September 13, 2016, when 34.3C (97.7F) was recorded at Gravesend in Kent.

The temperature set that day in 2016 was the warmest of the year – the only time this century a particular year’s hottest day has been in September.

Before then, you have to go back to 1954 when the warmest day of the year was September 1, which reached 29.4C (84.9F) at Mildenhall, Suffolk.

Prior to that it was September 5, 1949, that year’s joint warmest day when it reached 32.2C (89.96F) at Shoeburyness in Essex, Cromer in Norfolk and Mildenhall in Suffolk.

The weather is not set to change until early next week, at least, when a weather front attempts to make inroads. 

HAMPSHIRE: A cyclist enjoys a warm morning ride in the grounds of Winchester Cathedral yesterday

HAMPSHIRE: A cyclist enjoys a warm morning ride in the grounds of Winchester Cathedral yesterday

LONDON: Commuters cross London Bridge this morning amid hot and sunny weather in the capital

LONDON: Commuters cross London Bridge this morning amid hot and sunny weather in the capital

LONDON: A woman cools off in front of a large fan at a London Underground station in the heat yesterday

LONDON: A woman cools off in front of a large fan at a London Underground station in the heat yesterday

OXFORDSHIRE: People go out exercising early in the cool morning's air at Dunsden in Oxfordshire yesterday

OXFORDSHIRE: People go out exercising early in the cool morning’s air at Dunsden in Oxfordshire yesterday

BERKSHIRE: Rowers travel along the River Thames near Maidenhead in Berkshire this morning

BERKSHIRE: Rowers travel along the River Thames near Maidenhead in Berkshire this morning

LONDON: Commuters pack on to a hot Jubilee line Underground train at London Bridge station yesterday

LONDON: Commuters pack on to a hot Jubilee line Underground train at London Bridge station yesterday

LONDON: Pedestrians walking on London Bridge look across to Tower Bridge in the sunshine yesterday

LONDON: Pedestrians walking on London Bridge look across to Tower Bridge in the sunshine yesterday

OXFORDSHIRE: People go out exercising early in the cool morning's air at Dunsden in Oxfordshire yesterday

OXFORDSHIRE: People go out exercising early in the cool morning’s air at Dunsden in Oxfordshire yesterday

Smart thermostat firm tado° has made an interactive map showing how hot your home gets in a heatwave. It is based on indoor temperatures recorded during the last heatwave on June 25

LONDON: Visitors to Primrose Hill in North London enjoy a hazy sunrise yesterday before temperatures soar

LONDON: Visitors to Primrose Hill in North London enjoy a hazy sunrise yesterday before temperatures soar

HAMPSHIRE: Sunrise over Godshill in the New Forest in Hampshire this morning as ponies graze

HAMPSHIRE: Sunrise over Godshill in the New Forest in Hampshire this morning as ponies graze

LONDON: A person watches the sunrise at Primrose Hill in North London this morning

LONDON: A person watches the sunrise at Primrose Hill in North London this morning

LONDON: A cyclist rides through Blackheath Common in South East London this morning

LONDON: A cyclist rides through Blackheath Common in South East London this morning 

LONDON: A foggy start to the day in Bromley, South East London,  before temperatures soar later yesterday

LONDON: A foggy start to the day in Bromley, South East London,  before temperatures soar later yesterday

LONDON: Mounted police officers enjoyed ice cream in the heat at St James's Park in London yesterday

LONDON: Mounted police officers enjoyed ice cream in the heat at St James’s Park in London yesterday

READ MORE This summer was officially the hottest on RECORD: Global temperatures 0.66°C above average

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The Met Office said yesterday: ‘Temperatures behind the front are likely to return to near-normal values, but some eastern and south-eastern regions may retain the warm and predominantly dry conditions.’

Even for the rest of the month, plenty more fine and dry weather is forecast.

In the longer-range forecast for the second half of the month, the Met Office predicts ‘drier conditions than average’, although ‘spells of rain and showers are still possible’.

It added: ‘There are indications that late September may see a higher probability of high pressure than is typical for the time of year.

‘It is likely that temperatures will generally be above average for the time of year, with a higher likelihood of some unseasonably warm spells than would normally be expected.’




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