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Runway At UK's Largest Air Base "Melted" In Heatwave

Tyler Durden's Photo
by Tyler Durden
Monday, Jul 18, 2022 - 03:18 PM

Update (1321ET): Flights at London Luton Airport (5th largest by total passenger traffic in the county) said "engineers were called immediately" to repair a "surface defect" on the runway amid a heat wave. 

Luton tweeted, "flights are temporarily suspended" to allow engineers to repair the runway damaged by high temperatures. 

"The runway re-opened to departing flights at 17.40. Arrivals remain suspended until further notice. We apologize for the inconvenience," the airport said. 

Besides Luton, earlier, SKY News broke a story that the runway at Brize Norton air base in Oxfordshire "melted" due to scorching hot temperatures. 

* * *

Update (1118ET): SKY News reports the runway at the largest U.K. air base "melted" Monday due to scorching temperatures.  

Military sources told Sky News security and defense editor, Deborah Haynes, that the runway at the Brize Norton base in Oxfordshire was shuttered because the "runway melted" as temperatures neared 100°F (37.78°C). 

Contingency plans have been implemented to ensure there is no impact on military operations, a second RAF source said. 

The second source confirmed that the runway had been affected by the heat but did not say it had physically melted. 

Runways can be deemed unsafe to use when the tarmac becomes sticky under the sun. -SKY News' Haynes

At 3 pm local time, the U.K. Met Office recorded temperatures near a record of 101.66°F (38.7°C), set in 2019.

Most Britons don't have air conditioners. People are panic searching "best portable air conditioner" on the internet.  

Sky's Chris England warns that Tuesday will be even hotter, with 106°F (41°C) possible in the eastern part of the country. 

As for tonight, MET expects record-breaking night-time temperatures -- it's going to be a hellacious next couple of days. 

* * * 

A dangerous heatwave that has sparked wildfires across southwest Europe is set to push the mercury to new records in the U.K. and France early this week.

The U.K. Met Office forecasts 104°F (40°C) temperatures could be recorded Monday. The prior record stands at 101.66°F (38.7°C), set in 2019. Britain declared a widespread "red" heat warning days ago for the first time in history. 

Here are the latest temps across the UK:

The top ten hottest days in the UK have been recorded in the last three decades.

Extreme heat is disrupting travel across the U.K. Temporary speed restrictions were placed across London's tube system, with transportation officials worried hot rails could buckle. 

Rufus Cameron, 26, told NYTimes that he's headed for his parent's house in southern England because "his flat is hot, outside it's hot, it's all a bit much."

"In England, we have no idea how to deal with this kind of heat," Cameron said, adding he's worried about potential delays to the national rail system because of speed restrictions. 

"But what can we do with the infrastructure that we have in England," he added. "It's not built for this." 

A recent report via Britain's Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy found only 5% of homes in England have air conditioning units installed. With temperatures expected to hit records today, this could increase the risks of elevated heat-related illnesses, including heat stroke and exhaustion. 

The extreme heat is also punishing France. Massive wildfires are spreading across southern France, parts of Spain, and Portugal, with more than ten thousand evacuated in France alone. 

French firefighters cleared a three-mile-long and 130-foot-wide stretch of land in southwestern France to control a wildfire from spreading. 

Tour de France cyclists were given the day off after above-average temperatures were considered too dangerous for the Rodez to Carcassonne stretch, in southwestern France, on Monday. Tour organizers had to spray some areas of roads with water to prevent melting asphalt from disrupting the race. 

The heat wave is also proving disruptive to French utility Electricite de France SA's nuclear power generation, which could have widespread effects across European power markets. 

... and more bad news for power markets. 

Meteorologists described the climate situation in Europe as "an apocalypse of heat."  

Extreme heat can be deadly. More than 1,000 heat-related deaths have been reported in Spain and Portugal in recent days. 

The heatwave is the second to scorch parts of southwest Europe this month. The latest developed in northwest Africa, producing a heat dome and an area of low pressure west of Iberia, feeding heat into the continent. 

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