The UK eclipsed its record for the hottest temperatures ever on Tuesday afternoon, with a reading of 39.1 degrees Celsius (102.4 degrees Fahrenheit), according to the Met Office weather agency.
Met Office's CEO, Penelope Endersby, told BBC News that there's a possibility temperatures could reach 40-41 degrees Celsius (104-106 degrees Fahrenheit).
"We've even got some 43s in the model, but we're hoping it won't be as high as that," Endersby said.
🌡️ New UK record as the temperature has hit 40.2C at Heathrow Airport.— Sky News (@SkyNews) July 19, 2022
The Met Office warns that temperatures are "still climbing in many places".
☀️ Earlier, the UK broke the record for its hottest day ever (which had previously been 38.7C recorded in 2019).
Ahead of the heatwave apocalypse disrupting travel, business, and schools, the Met Office issued its first-ever red extreme heat warning.
On Tuesday, hospitals cleared space for an influx of heat-related illnesses. We noted yesterday that most Britons don't have air conditioners -- the country is just not set up to handle excessive heat as average high temperatures for this time of year are around 70 degrees Fahrenheit (21 degrees Celsius).
AP noted road traffic was down across the country. Trains operated at low speeds out of caution rails could buckle due to hot temperatures.
🌡️ Our hottest rail recorded yesterday was 62°C, in Suffolk!— Network Rail (@networkrail) July 19, 2022
Rail temperature can be about 20°C higher than air temperature, causing it to expand, bend and break:
We're doing everything we can to keep you safe.#heatwaveuk #heatwave #statoftheday pic.twitter.com/nkEaD7zBkj
London's Kings Cross Station, a passenger railway terminal in central London, was empty on Tuesday, with no trains running between the capital to the north and Scotland. London's Luton Airport and Brize Norton air base experienced flight disruptions due to "melted" runways.
Transport minister Grant Shapps warned about travel-related disruptions due to the heat:
"We've seen a considerable amount of travel disruption," Shapps told the BBC. "We're probably going to see the hottest day ever in the UK recorded today, and infrastructure, much of which was built from the Victorian times, just wasn't built to withstand this type of temperature."
Weather forecasts provided by Bloomberg offered some relief. Maximum high temperatures across the country are expected to peak today.
Meanwhile, a record-breaking heatwave continues to batter much of Europe, sparking wildfires that rage across Portugal, Spain, and France.
Much of Europe struggle with a record breaking heatwave as temperatures in France, UK and Spain reach 40 Degrees causing wildfires in some regions pic.twitter.com/oImhFJeEap— TRT World Now (@TRTWorldNow) July 19, 2022
Germany is bracing for 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit) in some regions on Tuesday and Wednesday as the heatwave shifts east.