UK weather: Heatwave broke record for highest ever temperature, Met Office says

The record for the highest temperature officially recorded in the UK was set last Thursday as a heatwave gripped the country, the Met Office has confirmed.

A temperature of 38.7C was recorded at Cambridge Botanic Garden, exceeding the previous record of 38.5C set in Faversham, Kent, in August 2003.

The figure was first announced as a provisional temperature on Friday and has now been validated by the Met Office observations team.

It means the UK joins Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands in breaking national records as exceptionally high temperatures gripped large parts of central and western Europe last week.

The searing temperatures caused chaos on the UK’s rail network.

Confirmation of the record comes as forecasters warned thunderstorms are expected to rage across parts of the UK in the next few days.

The Met Office has issued a yellow weather warning for thunderstorms across much of the South West and Wales for Tuesday with the risk of floods, lightning strikes, hail and strong winds.

More than 20 flood warnings – meaning immediate action is required – were in place across the Midlands and North West on Monday morning, the Environment Agency said.

Rochdale in Greater Manchester saw 100mm of rainfall – more than a month’s worth – in 48 hours, according to the Met Office.

The cellars of a number of properties in the town centre were reported to have been flooded, while the fire service attended homes in Turf Hill Road and properties in the nearby town of Littleborough were also affected, Rochdale Council said.

The Environment Agency tweeted: “Be careful on your commute and don’t drive through flood water.”

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The Met Office also warned there could be delays and cancellations to trains and buses as well as difficult driving conditions and road closures due to the storms.

The new warning follows a weekend of heavy downpours with half a month’s worth of rain falling across parts of the UK leading to travel disruption and floods.

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