Today set to be hottest day of the year as temperatures soar to 33C

Today set to be hottest day of the year as temperatures soar to 33C

Get out the sunscreen! Today is set to be the hottest day of the year as temperatures soar to 33C (91.4F) as thousands flock of beaches and beer gardens

Beaches, parks and pubs will be brimming with sun lovers later on as the record-breaking heatwave continues – with today set to be the hottest day of the year.

Temperatures are expected to reach highs of up to 33C (91.4F). It is the first time since 1911 that the UK’s maximum temperature has exceeded 30C (86F) for more than three days.

As the heatwave pushes into its sixth day, pubs are expecting to serve up to 50million pints and Tesco believes it will sell up to four million packs of ice cream and lollies.

Brighton could welcome 150,000 visitors today alone and another 100,000 are expected to visit Blackpool, with tens of thousands more heading to resorts such as Bournemouth and Great Yarmouth.

Parkdean Resorts, which runs 66 holiday parks, said: ‘The Indian summer is driving a September staycation boom. There are parks up and down the country with only a few spaces left.’

The sun rises over Blackheath Common in South East London as dog walkers enjoy the cool morning before the expected 33C heat

Runners make the most of the cooler morning in Blackheath Common, London

The sun rises over the Royal Liver Building in Liverpool city centre early this morning

People out swimming and enjoying the early morning sunshine in Swanage, Dorset

The beach was busy once again yesterday with sunbathers basking in the stunning autumn sunshine Bournemouth in Dorset

People out on the Long Walk in Windsor yesterday, on the first anniversary of the Queen’s death 

Pedestrians walk along the shore as wind turbines are pictured at RWE’s Scroby Sands Wind Farm, off the coast of Great Yarmouth

Paola Rech, 23, and her boyfriend Higor Garcia, 26, cool off at Bournemouth in Dorset yesterday

People take shelter from the sun in the shade of a tree in Central London this afternoon

Today is set to be the hottest day of the year, reaching highs of up to 33C (91.4F)

Sweltering temperatures of 33C (91.4F) could hit southern England this afternoon, just above the current 2023 record of 32.6C (90.68F) recorded in Wisley, Surrey, on Thursday.

READ MORE: Britain records temperatures above 30C for five days running for the first time ever during a September, Met Office reveals

But the sunny spell could be broken by torrential thunderstorms this afternoon in central areas of England and Wales.

A weather warning was been issued between 2pm and 9pm today, covering a large area from the M4 corridor northwards as far as Sheffield and Manchester, and from west to east between mid-Wales and inland areas of Norfolk and Suffolk. The Met Office said there is a risk of flash flooding and damage caused by lightning.

Fears for pet health in the heat have led to dog show cancellations over the weekend, including Dogfest at Knebworth House in Hertfordshire.

In Norfolk, farmer Robert McGregor has been creating mud wallows for his pigs.

‘The wallows cool the pigs down, whilst the mud acts as a natural sunscreen,’ the Waitrose supplier said. ‘It might not be a five-star hotel swimming pool, but if you happen to be a pig, a muddy wallow is the ultimate luxury.’

More sunshine is forecast tomorrow, with temperatures of up to 30C, but further thunderstorms are also likely.

A weather front moving south will then bring cooler temperatures for the coming week.

An amber heat health alert remains in place until 9pm tomorrow, meaning there are increased risks to elderly and vulnerable groups. Dame Ruth May, chief nursing officer for England, urged people to check on friends and relatives.

Posting on X, formerly Twitter, the Met Office said yesterday: ‘Today’s provisional highest temperature was 30.9 °C at Cavendish, in Suffolk. This marks the 5th consecutive day when temperatures have exceeded 30C and is the first time this has ever happened in September in our records.’

Supermarkets reported soaring demand for summer food and drink products, with Tesco estimating it would be up to 80 per cent higher this weekend than in mid-July.

The scorching conditions are making the UK as hot as Marrakech in Morocco and warmer than Malaga on the Costa del Sol, which is only set to reach 28C (82F). 

Yesterday’s highest temperature was 30.9C (87.6F) at Cavendish in Suffolk, and it was also Northern Ireland’s hottest September day ever with 28C (82.4F) in Castlederg.

However, central parts of England have been warned to watch out for heavy showers and thunderstorms tomorrow between 2pm and 9pm, with the Met Office issuing a yellow warning for potential sudden flooding, power cuts, lightning strikes and hail. 

The warning area is from the M4 corridor northwards to Sheffield and Manchester, and from west to east between mid-Wales and inland areas of Norfolk and Suffolk.

Up to two inches of rain (50mm) could fall in just one to two hours in parched areas of the country, many of which have barely seen a drop of rain so far this month.

But families have been rushing to book lidos, waterparks and other outdoor activities across the country to enjoy what could be the last very hot weather of the year.

Britons reported that spaces at outdoor swimming pools were filling up fast – with all sessions at Kent’s largest aqua park St Andrews Lakes sold out for tomorrow. 

And many are opting for a barbecue, with Tesco predicted that over the whole of this week it will sell two million packs of sausages and 500,000 packs of burgers.

Two million punnets of strawberries, 5.5million ice creams or lollies, 8,500 bottles of Pimm’s, seven million beer bottles or cans and 700,000 packs of ice cubes will also be sold this week, the supermarket estimated – along with 5.5million bottles of wine. 

A passenger with a fan arrives at London King’s Cross station yesterday during the heatwave

A woman cools off in front of a large fan at a London Underground station in the heat yesterday

The Met Office has issued a thunderstorm warning for today between 2pm and 9pm

Meanwhile Toolstation said sales of watering cans have increased by 107 per cent compared to the previous week, and up 84 per cent compared to this time last year

Sales of cooling fans have risen by a whopping 1,704 per cent, while water sprinklers are up by 465 per cent and hoses have risen by 88 per cent in the same timeframe.

Lakeland added that sales of ice cream makers are up by 483 per cent week on week – although, bizarrely, heated blankets are also up 192 per cent week on week.

Meanwhile Waitrose said sales of burgers were up 29 per cent compared to the same time last year, ice cream sales up 49 per cent and rosé sales up 28 per cent.

Searches for ‘Ice lolly’ on have risen 60 per cent in the last week, while ‘bbq food’ is up 29 per cent and ‘picnic bag’ is up 200 per cent.

Families taking advantage of the heatwave are again set to flock to beaches this weekend – with 150,000 visitors expected in Brighton alone on Saturday, while 100,000 people are expected to flock to Blackpool and tens of thousands more to resorts such as Bournemouth and Great Yarmouth.

And Parkdean Resorts, which runs 66 holiday parks, said: ‘The Indian Summer is driving a September staycation boom. There are parks up and down the country with only a few spaces left.’

With up to 50 million pints set to be downed in beer gardens, the British Institute of Innkeeping, which represents over 10,000 UK pubs, said: ‘Pubs have stocked up on beer to cool down customers making the most of the unexpected sunshine and high temperatures.’

But fears over the health of pets in the soaring temperatures has seen a string of dog shows cancelled over the weekend, including Dogfest at Knebworth House, and Bushey, both in Hertfordshire, and at Abington Park in Northampton.

Moto, the UK motorway services operator, revealed ice cream sales had already more than doubled in recent days – and it is had ordered thousands more to cope with expected high demand this weekend. 

But there have also been safety warnings – with the British Veterinary Association urging owners to ensure their pets have access to water, ventilation and shade, while the RNLI issued a warning about riptides after carrying out a number of rescues.

The Local Government Association said around half of councils had sand ready to spread on roads in case the heat led to tarmac melting.

The Met Office said temperatures will remain above 30C (86F) until at least Sunday – and yesterday was the hottest day of the year so far with 32.6C (90.7F) recorded at Wisley in Surrey.

The previous highest temperature for the year was set on both June 10 and 25 at 32.2C (90.0F).

The heatwave has already broken the record for the most consecutive days with temperatures above 30C (86F) in September, with Saharan dust generating vivid sunsets and sunrises in the clear conditions.

Yesterday was the fourth day in a row above 30C (86F), beating the record of three days seen on four previous occasions, most recently in 2016.

Met Office meteorologist Simon Partridge said forecasters were ‘fairly sure’ that temperatures will hit 30C ‘all the way through until Sunday’.

He added: ‘Previously in September we’ve only reached 30C three days in a row.

‘So although it’s not the hottest spell of weather we’ve had in September, in terms of prolonged hot weather it is twice as long as we have previously had.’

People out enjoying a day by the River Thames in Richmond, South West London, yesterday

People out enjoying a day by the River Thames in Richmond, South West London, yesterday

September’s highest daily temperature reading was 35.6C (96.1F) recorded on September 2, 1906 in South Yorkshire, according to the Met Office.

What is causing the heatwave in Britain? 

The heatwave is being driven by tropical storms pushing a high pressure system over the UK, with the jet stream having moved to the north and bending into what is known as an omega blocking pattern.

Named after the Greek letter omega because of its shape, this system occurs when an area of high pressure gets stuck between two areas of low-pressure to the west and east and also slightly south.

This has brought torrential rain and flooding for Spain and Greece but hot, dry and clear conditions for the UK.

But Mr Partridge said there was ‘no chance’ that the September daily temperature record could be broken in the coming days.

He said: ‘There is potential that we might get a little bit warmer over the weekend, not by a massive amount, but enough to make it the warmest day of the year so far again.

‘It is always going to be around 32C (90F), close to 33C (91F) at the maximum temperature.’

The UK Health Security Agency has already issued an amber heat health alert until 9pm on Sunday in nearly every area of England.

This was imposed amid concerns over how prolonged heat above 30C leaves older people and those with respiratory or cardiovascular diseases at greater risk.

A yellow heat alert is in place until the same time in the north east of England.

The Met Office added there could be heavy thundery showers on Sunday across England and Wales but temperatures will remain high.

Temperatures are also expected to remain high overnight.

Mr Partridge said: ‘The biggest knock-on effect at the moment is those overnight temperatures because in parts of south-west England and Wales (Wednesday) night many places didn’t dip below 19C, which is not easy.

People on the River Thames in Richmond, South West London, amid the heatwave yesterday

People cool down at the fountains at Trafalgar Square in London yesterday amid the heatwave

A woman enjoys the warm weather at Greenwich Park in South East London yesterday morning

Commuters sit and stand on a hot Jubilee line Underground train in London this morning

‘We will continue to see temperatures in the mid to high teens overnight. A few spots could again not dip below 20C, so it’s very warm and muggy nights.’

READ MORE Dust from Sahara desert reaches the UK! Cars in the West Midlands are covered with sand after wind sweeps it 5,000 miles

Met Office chief meteorologist Steven Ramsdale said the heatwave has been caused by tropical cyclones in the North Atlantic ‘pushing the jet stream well to the north of the UK, allowing some very warm air to be drawn north’.

It’s not just humans who have needed to keep cool in recent days. 

In Norfolk, farmer Robert McGregor has been creating mud wallows for his pigs.

Mr McGregor, who supplies supermarket chain Waitrose, said: ‘The wallows cool the pigs down, whilst the mud acts as a natural sunscreen.

‘It might not be a five-star hotel swimming pool, but if you happen to be a pig – a muddy wallow is the ultimate luxury.’

Meanwhile, the British Veterinary Association is urging pet owners to ensure their animals ‘have access to fresh drinking water, good ventilation and shade from direct sunlight at all times’.

Dr Justine Shotton, the BVA’s senior vice president, said: ‘Pets can be extremely susceptible to heat-related illnesses such as heatstroke, and can also suffer sunburn, heart conditions and breathing difficulties, many of which can sadly be fatal.’

The RNLI has called on people cooling off at sea to beware of riptides and take precautions when using paddleboards after rescues had to be carried out.

On Tuesday, lifeboat crew from Porthcawl, in South Wales, had to rescue swimmers caught in a rip current, followed by a wing surfer in difficulty.

On the same day, nearby Barry Dock RNLI were tasked to four people cut off by the tide and struggling in the water.

And on Wednesday, four paddleboarders had to be rescued by Yarmouth RNLI after becoming stranded on a secluded beach in Norfolk.

Megan Manneh, water safety delivery manager at the RNLI, urged people getting into difficulty in the sea to adopt the float position until help arrives, and take precautions such as wearing buoyancy aids when on paddleboards.

A woman cools off in front of a large fan at a London Underground station in the heat yesterday

Commuters pack on to a Jubilee line train at London Bridge station in hot weather yesterday

A driver covers their car with a sheet to keep it cool in Dunsden, Oxfordshire, this morning

She said: ‘After unsettled weather throughout much of the summer, we are expecting coasts to be busy this weekend, with potentially the last opportunity to enjoy some late summer sunshine.

‘RNLI lifeguards will still be present and delivering a service for local authorities on over 90 beaches.

‘We want everyone to enjoy our beautiful coast, whilst staying safe.’ 

‘There is a small chance that homes and businesses could be flooded quickly, with damage to some buildings from floodwater, lightning strikes, hail or strong winds.’

While ‘many areas will remain very warm or hot’ tomorrow, the heat is then due to become ‘more confined to south-eastern areas on Sunday and Monday’, forecasters said.

Met Office deputy chief meteorologist Nick Silkstone said: ‘A cold front will begin to influence things as it arrives from the northwest over the weekend, though it’ll remain very warm or hot to the southeast of this front.’

But Mr Silkstone said the likely areas which could be affected by the worst of the storms is as yet uncertain, adding: ‘many places may see little if any rain on Friday and Saturday.’ By the early part of next week, the Met Office said a return to a ‘westerly weather regime, with a mix of sunshine and showers’ is ‘most likely’.

The sun rises over the town of Marlow in Buckinghamshire and its Grade I listed bridge yesterday

A beautiful sunrise is witnessed in the Oxfordshire countryside at Dunsden this morning

The morning’s sunrise over the River Thames near Gravesend in Kent yesterday

A colourful sunrise at Dunsden in Oxfordshire yesterday at the start of another very hot day

Brighton beach is packed with sunseekers yesterday on the UK’s hottest day of the year so far

Sunbathers make the most of the heatwave on Brighton beach in East Sussex yesterday

Temperatures are set to fall back to the low 20Cs (70Fs) in southern areas and high teens Celsius (60Fs) further west and north.

Meanwhile, a 380-mile bike ride led by BBC commentator and rugby legend Jonathan Davies to the Rugby World Cup in France was halted early because of extreme heat.

Davies, 60, was starting the ride in aid of a Cardiff cancer hospital – but it was called off ‘for the safety of riders’ as temperatures in France were set to hit 41C (106F).

The 100 riders were due to cycle from Paris to Bordeaux in time for Wales’s opening game against Fiji on Sunday and had reached Poitiers, in western France.

But conditions have been so hot Davies tweeted that his mobile phone had broken down ‘due to heat’ on day three of the event.

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