NEWS
24/07/2018 10:26 BST | Updated 24/07/2018 10:56 BST

UK Weather: Heatwave Set To Get Even Hotter As Roads Melt And Rail Tracks Buckle

Parts of Britain could see temperatures reach 35C towards the end of the week.

Roads are melting and train services are grinding to a halt as the heatwave tightens its grip on the UK – with temperatures set to rise even further in the coming days.

Parts of Britain could reach 35C towards the end of the week as the hot weather continues to scorch the country.

As Monday officially became the hottest day of the year with a scorching 33.3C (92F) recorded in Santon Downham, Suffolk, tyre tracks were pictured in the softened tarmac on roads in Godalming, Surrey, and elsewhere rail tracks buckled.  

As road surfaces succumb to the heat, gritters could be deployed in some areas to create a non-stick layer between the surface and passing tyres.

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Roads melting in the extreme heat in Godalming, Surrey.

In Northern Ireland, Translink Rail cancelled services after rails reached temperatures of 49C, trains had to be stopped near Carlisle, Cumbria and speed restrictions have been put in place between London Waterloo and New Malden, causing delays.

Becky Mitchell, a Met Office meteorologist, said temperatures of 35C were forecast for Thursday in East Anglia and London, adding: “There’s potential it could go even warmer than that.”

She said the climbing temperatures were due to warm air coming up from France, combined with high pressure across the country.

Respite from the heat could come by the end of the week, when thunderstorms are expected in eastern areas.

An amber heat health watch warning, issued when temperatures are predicted to hit 30C during the day and 15C at night for at least two consecutive days, is in place in parts of England.

The warning is designed to make local services aware that these conditions are being met, and for them to take action.

Members of the public have also been urged to seek shelter from the sun during the hottest part of the day, between 11am and 3pm.

There is a 90% possibility of heatwave conditions between 9am on Monday and 9am Friday in parts of England, mainly in the south and east.

“We advise the public to take care in the sun, especially when temperatures are potentially reaching 30 degrees or more throughout this week - either stay out of the sun or be sensible and don’t go out in the strongest sunshine hours,” the Met Office said.

People have also been advised to cover up, wear sun screen and drink plenty of water.

The Met Office said several places have seen 54 consecutive dry days, starting on May 30, including a few which have had less than 1mm of rain in the entire 54-day period – the longest spell since 1969, when 70 days passed with no significant rainfall.

PA Wire/PA Images
A bead of sweat falls from a member of The Queen's Guard as he takes part in the Changing the Guard ceremony.

The longest run of days with no rain at all this summer so far is 48 days at Brooms Barn, near Bury St Edmunds, since 5 June.

A spokesman said: “It’s the driest first half of the summer since 1961.

“For the UK as a whole, we’ve only seen about 20% of the rainfall we’d normally expect throughout the whole summer. Parts of southern England have seen only 6%.”

The hottest July day on record is 36.7C, which was reached at Heathrow on 1 July 2015.