Thunderstorms and heavy rain to relieve UK with temperatures to remain in the low-to-mid 20s 

Blowtorch Britain cools off: Thunderstorms and heavy rain to relieve UK with temperatures to remain in the low-to-mid 20s after a record-breaking day that set the country alight

Advertisement

Thunderstorms and heavy rain have relieved the UK this evening as temperatures are set to remain in the low-to-mid 20s after a record-breaking day that set the country alight with wildfires.

Scattered showers have swept across Britain as a cool front from the Atlantic moves northeastwards towards France – with parts of eastern England facing a yellow warning for more thundery showers tomorrow.

The Met Office has warned Britons to expect periods of heavy rain. frequent lightning, and a small chance of strong wind gusts while further showers will be in the north of the UK before Friday, Saturday and Sunday turns largely dry.

Rail services heading out of London are expected to stay suspended for some time until the weather cools as britons face yet more travel chaos.

Senior Operational Meteorologist, Alex Burkill, told MailOnline: ‘St James Park in west London hadn’t recorded any rain this month, whilst Kew Gardens had only recorded 0.4mm. However, in the last two hours, St James Park has had 0.2mm and Kew has had 2.4mm.’

Heathrow had just 2.4mm of rain on July 1, otherwise it had been dry following the sweltering heatwave temperatures – but in the last two hours, the area has been hit with 0.8mm.

Meanwhile, forecasters predict temperatures will remain in the low-to-mid 20s on Wednesday following a record-breaking day across Britain. 

Temperature records were shattered this afternoon as sweltering Britons turned to beaches lakes and even fountains in Trafalgar Square in a desperate bid to cool off.

Heathrow was first to reach the 40C barrier – breaking the old record of 38.7C (102F) measured in Cambridge in 2019. But hottest of all yesterday was Coningsby in Lincolnshire, which recorded 40.3C (104.5F).

Thunderstorms and heavy rain have relieved the UK this evening as temperatures are set to remain in the low-to-mid 20s after a record-breaking day that set the country alight with wildfires (A rainbow is pictured as heavy rain falls at Heathrow airport)

Thunderstorms and heavy rain have relieved the UK this evening as temperatures are set to remain in the low-to-mid 20s after a record-breaking day that set the country alight with wildfires (A rainbow is pictured as heavy rain falls at Heathrow airport)

Scattered showers have swept across Britain as a cool front from the Atlantic moves northeastwards towards France - with parts of eastern England facing a yellow warning for more thundery showers tomorrow

Scattered showers have swept across Britain as a cool front from the Atlantic moves northeastwards towards France – with parts of eastern England facing a yellow warning for more thundery showers tomorrow

Members of the public shelter from the rain at Inveraray Highland Games this afternoon in Inveraray, Scotland

Members of the public shelter from the rain at Inveraray Highland Games this afternoon in Inveraray, Scotland

Senior Operational Meteorologist, Alex Burkill, told MailOnline: 'St James Park in west London hadn’t recorded any rain this month, whilst Kew Gardens had only recorded 0.4mm. However, in the last two hours, St James Park has had 0.2mm and Kew has had 2.4mm'

Senior Operational Meteorologist, Alex Burkill, told MailOnline: ‘St James Park in west London hadn’t recorded any rain this month, whilst Kew Gardens had only recorded 0.4mm. However, in the last two hours, St James Park has had 0.2mm and Kew has had 2.4mm’

In one of the most dramatic incidents, at least eight houses were engulfed by flames in the village of Wennington, in the east London borough of Havering

In one of the most dramatic incidents, at least eight houses were engulfed by flames in the village of Wennington, in the east London borough of Havering

The Met Office has warned Britons to expect periods of heavy rain. frequent lightning, and a small chance of strong wind gusts while further showers will be in the north of the UK before Friday, Saturday and Sunday turns largely dry.

The Met Office has warned Britons to expect periods of heavy rain. frequent lightning, and a small chance of strong wind gusts while further showers will be in the north of the UK before Friday, Saturday and Sunday turns largely dry.

Pictured: Lightening fills the sky in Whistable, Kent as the sweltering temperatures across Britain drop

Pictured: Lightening fills the sky in Whistable, Kent as the sweltering temperatures across Britain drop 

Heathrow had just 2.4mm of rain on July 1, otherwise it had been dry following the sweltering heatwave temperatures, but in the last two hours, the area has been hit with 0.8mm

Heathrow had just 2.4mm of rain on July 1, otherwise it had been dry following the sweltering heatwave temperatures, but in the last two hours, the area has been hit with 0.8mm

Grasses to ashes: Fire erupts as if from nowhere and rips through fencing and part of TV actress Faye McKeever’s back garden

Grasses to ashes: Fire erupts as if from nowhere and rips through fencing and part of TV actress Faye McKeever’s back garden

Grasses to ashes: Fire erupts as if from nowhere and rips through fencing and part of TV actress Faye McKeever’s back garden

Picture shows a serious fire in Wennington, Essex, where a number of homes have been destroyed

Picture shows a serious fire in Wennington, Essex, where a number of homes have been destroyed

A fire burns the Kiddi Caru nursery in the Walnut Tree area of Milton Keynes down to the ground today as blazes take hold of areas across England

A fire burns the Kiddi Caru nursery in the Walnut Tree area of Milton Keynes down to the ground today as blazes take hold of areas across England

A woman is given water and comforted close to the blaze in the village of Wennington, east London, where 100 firefighters are tackling a fire

A woman is given water and comforted close to the blaze in the village of Wennington, east London, where 100 firefighters are tackling a fire

Shocking pictures show a huge bush fire raging on the Dartford marshes, Kent today

Shocking pictures show a huge bush fire raging on the Dartford marshes, Kent today 

Fires sparked by lightning at Zennor Head, West Cornwall pictured burning on Tuesday evening

Fires sparked by lightning at Zennor Head, West Cornwall pictured burning on Tuesday evening

Around 100 firefighters are tackling a blaze in the village of Wennington in East London today as the heatwave continues

Around 100 firefighters are tackling a blaze in the village of Wennington in East London today as the heatwave continues 

Tinderbox Britain: Where have fires broken out? 

GREATER LONDON

  • Pea Lane, Upminster 
  • Uxbridge Road, Pinner
  • Green Lanes, Southgate
  • Oaks Road, Croydon
  • Ballards Road, Dagenham
  • The Broadway, Wembley 
  • Sunningfields Crescent, Hendon
  • Chapel View, Croydon
  • Sidcup Road, Eltham 
  • Western Avenue, Uxbridge 
  • Staines Road, Twickenham 

ENGLAND  

  • Joyce Green, Dartford 
  • Nare Head, Zennor 
  • New Brighton, Merseyside
  • Groby, Leicestershire
  • Walnut Tree, Milton Keynes
  • Wales village, Rotherham, South Yorkshire
  • Hamels Lane, Buntingford
  • M1 in Hertfordshire
  • Rushden, Hertfordshire
  • Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire
  • Codicote, Hertfordshire
  • Bradgate Park, Leicestershire
  • Field Road, Denham
  • Whitehouse Lane, Wycombe
  • Woodland Avenue, Barnsley
  • Newton Arms pub, Sprotbrough Road, Doncaster 

SCOTLAND 

  •  Hadden Farm, Kelso

 

Advertisement

At least 34 parts of the country broke the UK’s previous national record of 38.7C today, the Met Office said stretching from West Yorkshire to Surrey. Staggeringly, meteorologists calculated that Britain was hotter than 98.9 per cent of the Earth’s surface.

Scotland also recorded its hottest day ever as temperatures climbed to 34.8C (94.64) at Charterhall and Wales set its record yesterday of 37.1C in Hawarden, Flintshire.

The ‘extreme heat’ also led to almost 15,000 homes in the North East being left without power at about 2pm as electrical equipment overheated during the record temperatures.

Families fled for their lives yesterday as homes were engulfed by raging wildfires on the hottest day in UK history.

As temperatures soared to a record high of 40.3C (104.5F), a series of devastating blazes broke out across tinderbox Britain.

Major incidents were declared in London as a huge surge in fires put crews under immense pressure along with services in Leicester, Hertfordshire and South Yorkshire.

Roads were also closed as fires broke out alongside major motorways including the M25 and M1. Emergency call centres were hit with tens of thousands of pleas for help.

In one of the most dramatic incidents, at least eight houses were engulfed by flames in the village of Wennington, in the east London borough of Havering.

Dramatic aerial footage showed an entire row of semi-detached homes in grave peril, with almost half of them alight as apocalyptic plumes of smoke rose above the scene and rear gardens reduced to cinders.

Terrified residents were ordered out as 100 firefighters tried to halt a lethal wall of flame spreading from home to home, fanned by warm winds. One firefighter at the scene branded it ‘absolute hell’.

Amid the scramble to evacuate, one woman said her uncle was trapped – and was ‘digging a trench’ around his house to thwart the flames. Police later rescued him.

With its Norman church, Wennington features in the Domesday Book, and it seemed an apt description last night amid the smouldering ruins of charred homes. Local councillor Susan Ospreay said: ‘Wennington Village has been completely devastated by fire.’ The inferno appears to have been sparked by a burning compost heap around 1pm in parched grassland adjacent to Wennington fire station – which meant firefighters were immediately on the scene.

A huge black smoke cloud spreads as round 100 firefighters tackle a blaze in the village of Wennington this afternoon as the heatwave continues

A huge black smoke cloud spreads as round 100 firefighters tackle a blaze in the village of Wennington this afternoon as the heatwave continues

Around 100 firefighters are tackling a blaze in the village of Wennington in East London today as the heatwave continues

Around 100 firefighters are tackling a blaze in the village of Wennington in East London today as the heatwave continues

Firefighters attend a gorse bush fire during the heatwave near Zennor in Cornwall this afternoon

Firefighters attend a gorse bush fire during the heatwave near Zennor in Cornwall this afternoon

Firefighters attend a blaze on Dartford Marshes in Kent today after temperatures reached 40C for the first time on record

Firefighters attend a blaze on Dartford Marshes in Kent today after temperatures reached 40C for the first time on record

Firefighters attend a gorse bush fire during the heatwave near Zennor in Cornwall this afternoon

Firefighters attend a gorse bush fire during the heatwave near Zennor in Cornwall this afternoon

Firefighters attend a gorse bush fire during the heatwave near Zennor in Cornwall this afternoon

Firefighters attend a gorse bush fire during the heatwave near Zennor in Cornwall this afternoon

A gorse bush fire during the heatwave near Zennor in Cornwall this afternoon amid the very high temperatures

A gorse bush fire during the heatwave near Zennor in Cornwall this afternoon amid the very high temperatures

The burnt out remains of parkland in Skellow, Doncaster, this morning after a grass fire came within feet of homes

The burnt out remains of parkland in Skellow, Doncaster, this morning after a grass fire came within feet of homes

Firefighters rest as they attend a gorse bush fire during a heatwave near Zennor in Cornwall this afternoon

Firefighters rest as they attend a gorse bush fire during a heatwave near Zennor in Cornwall this afternoon

The burnt out remains of parkland in Skellow, Doncaster, this morning after a grass fire came within feet of homes

The burnt out remains of parkland in Skellow, Doncaster, this morning after a grass fire came within feet of homes

The burnt out remains of parkland in Skellow, Doncaster, this morning after a grass fire came within feet of homes

The burnt out remains of parkland in Skellow, Doncaster, this morning after a grass fire came within feet of homes

A fire in Upminster, Essex, today as the hot weather continues amid a series of extreme weather warnings

A fire in Upminster, Essex, today as the hot weather continues amid a series of extreme weather warnings

The burnt out remains of Lickey Hills parkland in Birmingham this morning where fire crews are still on the scene

The burnt out remains of Lickey Hills parkland in Birmingham this morning where fire crews are still on the scene

Houses on fire in the Kingstone area of Barnsley in Yorkshire at around 4pm today

Police evacuated residents and closed roads to tackle the fire

Houses on fire in the Kingstone area of Barnsley in Yorkshire at around 4pm today. Police evacuated residents and closed roads to tackle the fire

The burnt out remains of parkland in Skellow, Doncaster, this morning after a grass fire came within feet of homes

The burnt out remains of parkland in Skellow, Doncaster, this morning after a grass fire came within feet of homes

The burnt out remains of parkland in Skellow, Doncaster, this morning after a grass fire came within feet of homes

The burnt out remains of parkland in Skellow, Doncaster, this morning after a grass fire came within feet of homes

A fire on Peckham High Street in South London this afternoon as the heatwave continues to cause chaos in the capital

A fire on Peckham High Street in South London this afternoon as the heatwave continues to cause chaos in the capital

TEN hottest places as old record is obliterated

40.3C Coningsby, Lincs

40.2C Heathrow, London

40.0C Waddington, Lincs

40.0C Humberside

40.0C Robin Hood Airport, Doncaster

39.5C Northolt, London

39.4C Scampton, Lincs

39.3C Woburn, Beds

39.2C Watnall, Notts

39.2C Cranwell, Lincs

38.7C Previous UK record (Cambridge, July 2019)

Advertisement

But they fought in vain to stop it rapidly spreading on to tinder dry scrubland and incinerating back gardens. As homes were gutted, residents said they could hear the sound of panicked horses whinnying in a surrounding field.

Lorry driver Gary Rouel, 64, told how he raced back from work after a phone call from his wife Debbie, 64, saying: ‘She just said, “The house has gone up in flames.”

Mrs Rouel, a dinner lady, tried to round up the couple’s three cats and their dog as firefighters ordered her to evacuate.

Mr Rouel said: ‘It’s terrible. I’ve just finished paying off the mortgage two months ago. It’s heartbreaking. My wife has [the lung condition] COPD and the fireman was just telling her “Get out, get out!”.’

The couple’s son William, 33, who lives in Halstead, Essex said: ‘My mum sent me a picture of the fire outside the home from the bathroom. She was still in there when it was coming up to the house.

‘It started in the field, then came into the garden, then it was up to the decking and the conservatory. We think the neighbour’s house has gone too. It’s awful, I watched on TV as the house went up in flames.’ Distressed residents could be seen carrying buckets of water to the Lennards Arms pub where the community had gathered. Others were hurriedly removing gas canisters from the pub.

As the blaze drew nearer, police evacuated the building. Landlord Walter Martin, 60, said: ‘I’ve never seen anything like it. It’s awful. People are devastated.’ Pensioner Lynn Sabberton said: ‘The police came to our house and told us to get what we could.’

Brian Brazier, 75, added: ‘The fire has burnt my stables out. It started as a little fire around the back of the houses and if someone had been there to put it out we wouldn’t have had all this trouble.’

Resident Janet Hickey, 70, who has terminal pancreatic cancer, said she was forced to leave all her cancer drugs behind as they were evacuated. She said: ‘I’ve got all my cancer drugs in the fridge.’

As buildings surrounding the Grade II-listed medieval St Mary and St Peter’s Church caught fire, vicar Rev Elise Peterson called for people to pray for the community.

The Wennington fire is still seen raging at night as hundreds of firefighters are deployed throughout London to tackle blazes

The Wennington fire is still seen raging at night as hundreds of firefighters are deployed throughout London to tackle blazes 

The homes seen destroyed in Barnsley today as fires created havoc across the country and families were left homeless

The homes seen destroyed in Barnsley today as fires created havoc across the country and families were left homeless 

Fires sparked by lightning at Zennor Head, West Cornwall continue burning into Tuesday evening

Fires sparked by lightning at Zennor Head, West Cornwall continue burning into Tuesday evening

Some 15 fire engines and 100 firefighters from the London Fire Brigade are dealing with the Wennington blaze today

Some 15 fire engines and 100 firefighters from the London Fire Brigade are dealing with the Wennington blaze today

The huge grass blaze has spread to houses in Wennington, East London, this afternoon amid the extreme heat

The huge grass blaze has spread to houses in Wennington, East London, this afternoon amid the extreme heat

Police were called amid concerns over public safety due to people jumping into the river and lighting portable BBQs at River Swales Waterfalls

Police were called amid concerns over public safety due to people jumping into the river and lighting portable BBQs at River Swales Waterfalls

A blaze started in a field around 4pm but soon spread to a nearby housing estate in the village of Wales, near Rotherham, South Yorkshire

A blaze started in a field around 4pm but soon spread to a nearby housing estate in the village of Wales, near Rotherham, South Yorkshire

Some 15 fire engines and 100 firefighters from the London Fire Brigade are dealing with the Wennington blaze in East London

Some 15 fire engines and 100 firefighters from the London Fire Brigade are dealing with the Wennington blaze in East London

Homes in Wennington can be seen on fire and completely blackened by the raging wildfire amid devastating temperatures

Homes in Wennington can be seen on fire and completely blackened by the raging wildfire amid devastating temperatures 

The scene of a blaze in the village of Wennington, east London. London Fire Brigade has declared a major incident due to "a huge surge" in blazes across the capital

The scene of a blaze in the village of Wennington, east London. London Fire Brigade has declared a major incident due to ‘a huge surge’ in blazes across the capital

The scorching heat smashed the previous British record of 38.7C (102F). Properties faced unprecedented threats on a day when millions of people were working from home. Boris Johnson paid tribute to firefighters and frontline workers keeping the country safe.

Black smoke billowed across traffic on the A2 near Dartford, Kent, as bone dry heathland next to the busy route led to a series of fierce blazes. Flames up to 30ft high spread to create a half-mile-long sheet of fire

The fires came within yards of Spirits Rest, a horse and animal sanctuary. Owner Christine Bates, 63, said: ‘I was just terrified for the animals. We got the horses into the back field, and local residents have now got chickens in their gardens and other people are looking after our kittens. The fire brigade were here so quickly and fought it back maybe four times – but it just kept springing up again.’ 

London was burning with ‘significant’ fires in Upminster, Pinner, Croydon, Wembley, Hendon and Southgate. 

At Zennor, near St Ives in Cornwall, there was a major gorse blaze, and at STONEHENGE, Dorset and Wiltshire Fire Service fought to protect the ancient monument from a blaze nearby.

Shocking videos show a huge bush fire raging on the Dartford marshes, Kent

Shocking videos show a huge bush fire raging on the Dartford marshes, Kent

Emergency services fight fires in a row of houses on July 19, 2022 in Wennington as at least five homes have been gutted

Emergency services fight fires in a row of houses on July 19, 2022 in Wennington as at least five homes have been gutted 

This picture shows the fire still burning at a home which has been blackened and its roof torn off amid devastating fires

This picture shows the fire still burning at a home which has been blackened and its roof torn off amid devastating fires 

In this aerial view, smoke from fires being fought by fire services seen in Wennington as London's firefighters try to battle the infernos

In this aerial view, smoke from fires being fought by fire services seen in Wennington as London’s firefighters try to battle the infernos 

Another house was also destroyed in the Wennington fire this afternoon which was seen from above in this Sky News aerial

Another house was also destroyed in the Wennington fire this afternoon which was seen from above in this Sky News aerial

Children and staff fled the KiddiCaru nursery in Milton Keynes which was destroyed by fire at lunchtime. In Oldham, Greater Manchester, police said at least four moorland fires had been ‘started deliberately’. One blaze at Lickey Hills Country Park near Birmingham spread to 50,000 square metres and forced 15 people to flee their homes.

London’s Labour mayor Sadiq Khan tweeted that the situation was ‘critical’ – but he was criticised for using the day’s events as a way to promote his controversial car control measures, the ULEZ low-emission zone.

In Yorkshire last night, six houses were reported to be on fire in Barnsley.

In Skellow, near Doncaster, grass fires came within feet of homes, while in Manchester, actress Faye McKeever – who appeared in the Sky 1 sitcom Trollied – tweeted a photo of her back garden fence ablaze.

Source

Related posts