UK swelters on hottest day of year

Children cool off in the fountain by the Royal Festival Hall, on London's Southbank

Claire Wood and her children Emily and Kieran enjoy the hot weather in central London

People flocked to the cooling fountains at London's Royal Festival Hall as parts of the UK basked in high temperatures

First published in National News © by

Britain has been basking in the hottest day of the year so far.

Temperatures reached 33.7C (92.6F) at Heathrow airport in west London, surpassing the previous seven-year high of 33.5C (92.3F) on July 22.

After several days of rain and falling temperatures, parts of the nation baked in sizzling sunshine which also sent the mercury rocketing to 33C (91.4F) at London City Airport, while it was 32.5C (90.5F) in St James's Park in the capital and 32C (89.6F) in Cambridge.

Sun lovers should not expect the hot weather to continue however, with temperatures expected to drop to the mid-20s over the weekend and into next week.

"It's been a pretty toasty day across much of central and eastern England," Rachel Vince, a forecaster for MeteoGroup, said. "But tomorrow (Friday) is going to be cooler, and it looks as though that will be the case for the foreseeable future."

Despite the forecast, Thursday's UK temperatures - which were hotter than Barcelona, Cape Town, Mumbai and Venice - prompted bookies to offer odds that August would be a record breaker.

Ladbrokes offered 8/1 that August's hottest temperature will surpass our hottest August from 2003. A decade ago that was 38.5C (101.3F) on August 10 2003.

Jessica Bridge, of Ladbrokes, said: "The second heatwave of the summer is in full swing and the odds suggest we're in for another scorcher.

"The faster the temperatures rise the quicker the odds will drop when it comes to breaking weather records."

Friday is expected to see a maximum temperature of 28C (82.4F), with East Anglia being one of the warmest parts of the UK. Some areas could also see rain, with showers expected to come in from the west and spread east where it is likely to get heavier.

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