Hottest July day ever recorded in UK
The Met Office said the reading had been registered at Heathrow – breaking the previous record set in 2006.
A level 3 “heatwave action” heat-health alert has been declared for all parts of England.
But in Scotland, forecasters warned of thunderstorms, torrential downpours and hail stones up to 1cm in size.
Lightning was also spotted in the north-east of England, with a storm breaking out near Antony Gormley’s Angel of the North statue.
Hot weather may have been a “contributing factor” to a large fire which consumed about 30 acres of Thetford Forest.
Motorists on the M1 in Derbyshire faced delays after a lorry carrying batteries burst into flames, causing the motorway to be temporarily closed in both directions.
Meanwhile, five people were taken to hospital from the Royal Norfolk Show as temperatures rose to 31C (88F) in Norwich.
In Staffordshire, 80 people were stranded on the monorail at Alton Towers when two trains broke down.
Wimbledon spectators – who had been covering their heads with umbrellas, newspapers and towels – were advised to wear hats.
London was hotter than Rome and Athens, according to figures collated by the Met Office, but other parts of Europe saw temperatures rise above 40C (104F).
Cyclone alert has been issued for Karachi, Pakistan
100mph storm to strike Scotland tomorrow
Coldest New Year on the way since 1988 in Malta
Tornado leaves path of destruction with windows shattered and trees uprooted in Leicestershire, UK
Severe flooding hits many homes in Canvey, Basildon And Tilbury, UK
Tornadoes, floods and gales batter Britain as drivers are stranded in roads swamped with water with more on the way
Stormy weather led to huge waves crashing into the harbour in Porthcawl, South Wales
Tornadoes, floods and gales of up to 75mph are continuing to batter Britain, with drivers becoming stranded on roads swamped with water.
Forecasters have warned there is no end in sight to the ferocious weather which has been wreaking havoc across the UK for the past 48 hours, with gusty winds and torrential rain expected to continue.
Last night, a pair of motorists filmed the moment that a terrifying tornado swept across a motorway on the Wirral, causing a huge whirl of air to circulate over the M53, just metres in front of them.
Meanwhile, in Wolverhampton, a van driver managed to scramble out of a window to safety after his vehicle was swept against a footbridge in a flooded ford.
This is the moment a terrifying tornado swept across a motorway on the Wirral, as gusty winds and severe weather hit the UK
The van driver managed to scramble to safety after torrential rain caused the ford to rise 3ft in just one hour
Bolt from above: Lighting over the River Thames at Chiswick/Mortlake in west London this afternoon
Today, The Met Office issued further weather alerts for strong gusts in the south west of England and southern Wales, which it said would be compounded by heavy, thundery rain.
With the weather warning covering an area from Cornwall to Bournemouth and Cardiff to Swansea, it said the public should brace itself for further potential disruption.
The rare tornado was spotted yesterday evening by Matthew Hughes, who saw the freak event as he was driving through Bromborough with his friend Rob Tulley. Shocked at what was unfolding, Mr Hughes filmed the intimidating twister and posted the rare footage to YouTube.
A spokesperson from the Met Office later confirmed the dramatic footage showed a tornado, adding that it was rare to obtain footage of that nature.
The Met Office said: ‘Although it is unusual that we obtain footage of a tornado in the UK, it can occasionally occur, and this sighting is a tornado.’
The sighting came just hours after a tornado ripped through a small town in Derbyshire and amid warnings that more strong winds are set to sweep across the country today.
Huge, crashing waves at high tide caused the seawater to swamp the roads surrounding the harbour in Penzance
Rescue teams have been out in force for the past 24 hours, attempting to salvage the wreckage caused by the extreme conditions.
Staffordshire Fire and Rescue services were called to Trescott Ford in Staffordshire after a driver had to clamber through a window after getting stuck in the swollen ford.
The torrent swept the man’s blue Citroen van against a footbridge after torrential rain caused the ford’s water level to rise to 3ft in just one hour.
Firefighters had to seal off the road leading to the ford while they helped the driver rescue tools from his van before towing out of the water.
Crew commander Wayne Dockerty, of Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service, said: ‘We made sure he was safe and then put the cordons up to stop any other drivers attempting to cross.
‘This served as a warning for motorists to take extra care in this kind of circumstance since the water can often be a lot deeper than it looks.’
Elsewhere, a man had to be rescued from a car that was caught in deep flood water on the A452 Chester Road near Walsall, West Midlands – a major dual carriageway – as torrential rain and thunderstorms swept across the Midlands. A family-of-three also became stranded in water in Walsall Wood on the same afternoon.
Pedestrians were caught in heavy rain in central London earlier today, as unexpected showers hammered down after a morning of sunshine
Yesterday, a tornado ripped through the small town of Alfreton, Derbyshire, causing thousands of pounds worth of damage and completely damaging the top floor of this building
Red Alert Issued By Iceland Authorities Due To A surge In Seismic Activity At Bardarbunga Volcano
A surge in seismic activity has caused Iceland to raise the aviation alert for its Bardarbunga volcano from ORANGE to RED.
“There is an ongoing eruption beneath the glacial surface, probably a small eruption which has not been able to melt the ice cap,” Met Office official Theodor Hervasson said.
Code red indicates that eruptions are imminent or underway that could disperse clouds of ash and dust into the flight paths of jet aircraft, threatening safe air travel.
An eruption in 2010 of the Eyjafjallajokul volcano produced an ash cloud that caused international aviation chaos, with more than 100,000 flights cancelled.
Aviation regulators since have reformed policies about flying through ash, so a new eruption would be unlikely to cause that much disruption.
Thousands of mini earthquakes rattled the volcano deep beneath the Vatnajokull glacier over the past week, causing authorities to evacuate several hundred people from an area north of the glacier.
Met Office vulcanologist Melissa Pfeffer said scientists planned to fly over the glacier today to look for any changes to its surface.
Bjorn Malmquist from the Icelandic National Broadcasting Service said: “It’s too early to say if flights will be disrupted.
“A small eruption started 40 minutes ago but we have yet to see how powerful it is. It will take a couple of hours for the eruption to work its way through 500m of glacial ice above. Until then there’s not much we can say about the air traffic.
“As long as there is water and magma interaction there will be a lot of ash and explosions in the eruption itself, but its probably not going to be of the same kind in 2010. This will probably be more a fissure eruption, a sub-glacial eruption.”
Colder Weather Coupled With Met Office Warnings Set For Parts Of The UK
Parts of Britain are getting an unexpected dose of winter weather as gale force winds send temperatures plunging
The Met Office has issued severe weather warnings for northern England and Scotland, with Ireland also likely to be affected by gusts which “would not be unusual in the autumn and winter”.
Winds of up to 50mph were recorded early on Sunday and the conditions were expected to bring a risk of flooding for some areas.
Coastal areas have been put on alert for “large waves” and forecasters have warned transport links could be hit by disruption.
Met Office maps show severe weather warnings for Sunday and Monday
Sky News weather producer Rebecca Yussuf said: “It will be unseasonably windy for the rest of Sunday and into Monday, especially in northern parts of the UK and Ireland.
“We’re likely to see gale force gusts reaching 50mph, which could bring disruption to transport and outdoor activities.
“The winds will be accompanied by heavy showers that will bring a risk of localised flooding.”
The wet and chilly conditions are expected to continue into the early part of the week, with yellow “be aware” warnings in place for Monday.
Strong winds will cause temperatures to fall to well below average for late summer.
Met office spokesman Calum Maccoll said there could even be frost in parts of Scotland as temperatures approach zero later in the week.
Ex-hurricane Bertha gives the heaviest rainfall and a Tornado in Cardiff City, Wales, UK
The city begins a clear-up as one church fears it will not be able to claim the flooding damage on insurance.
Cardiff experienced the UK’s heaviest rainfall today when the tail end of ex-hurricane Bertha lashed the capital.
Dozens of residents have been dealing with the drenching’s aftermath after the city endured the worst of the downpours, with a staggering 45.2mm falling in just 12 hours.
Bute Park recorded the highest rainfall in the UK within that time period.
And while the storm is expected to have left mainland Britain for the North Sea tomorrow, Met Office forecasters say strong winds and some blustery showers may still blight an otherwise sunny Monday. Rain and strong winds of up to 60mph brought disruption to Wales, especially across southern parts, with firefighters being called to several incidents of flash flooding.
- blocked drains causing floodwater to accumulate on Carisbrooke Way, Cyncoed;
- cars stuck in water under the railway bridge on Lowther Road, Cathays;
- a van stuck under a flooded bridge in South Park Road, Splott;
- a flooded house in Cranbrook Street, Cathays; and
- roads flooding at Waungron in Fairwater.
Still footage was also by taken of a mini-tornado at Stormy Down, near Porthcawl. The footage taken by Ceri Evans shows a thin funnel of cloud reaching down from the clouds.
And fire crews spent three hours pumping 3ft of water from the three-room basement of Cardiff’s historic Greek Orthodox Church in Butetown, church elders said.
“There was heavy rain which caused the problem,” said priest Father Iakovos.
“The church is OK but the insurance won’t cover the damage.”
Church chairman Anton Attard estimated that more than £1,000 worth of damage had been caused but said the rooms had been kept empty after previous floods.
“The church insurance policy will no longer pay out after previous floods, he said.
“If it rains it floods from the drains,” Mr Attard said.
“Fire crews were here for three hours. The floors and walls will need cleaning and it’ll cost at least £1,100. We can’t alter the building because it’s listed.
“The basement is three rooms, two of about 10ft by 10ft, another about 10ft by 8ft.
“We are not like the Church in Wales with money for repairs. We are a small congregation of about 3,000 mainly Russians, Greeks and Ukrainians.”
The church has been operating at its current premises since 1906 with a Greek Orthodox congregation in the city since 1873, he added.
The ex-tropical storm, previously known as Hurricane Bertha, hit the Caribbean last week but began tracking its way across the British Isles on Saturday night. Jeremy Parr, head of flood risk management at Natural Resources Wales, said: “As the forecast remains unsettled we are advising people to keep an eye on weather forecasts and check the latest flood alerts on our website.”
Ross MacLeod, RNLI coastal safety manager, said: “If you are planning a coastal activity our advice is to respect the water and watch the shore from a safe distance and assess the conditions – think about the risk before deciding if you need to go closer.”
The wet weather is expected to continue through the week, with westerly winds and heavy showers in South Wales and temperatures in the high teens.
Met Office forecaster, Helen Chivers said the ex-hurricane had behaved as anticipated, dropping the most of its rain over South Wales.
“There had been some uncertainty surrounding the path that ex-hurricane Bertha would take, but we knew there was potential for heavy rainfall, strong coastal winds and large waves on Sunday.
“Monday will be quite breezy – nothing like we saw on Sunday – and there will be some sunny spells.
“However there will still be one or two very fast moving blustery showers.
“It won’t feel particularly cold, with temperatures inland reaching around 18C but there will be a brisk southwesterly wind of around 35mph.
“That won’t feel to bad after the coastal winds of 50-60mph experienced on Sunday.
“We have winds blowing from the west throughout the rest of the week in Wales.
“That system will bring us a mixture of sunshine and showers but gradually as the week goes on we should finds things improve and by Friday we should see a fine day.”