London weather: UK capital set for longest heatwave in 20 years

Londoners are set to bask in yet more soaring temperatures as the UK heads for its longest heatwave in more than 20 years.

Parts of the capital enjoyed the highest temperature in the whole of the UK on Monday with forecasters predicting the weather to get even warmer on Wednesday.

The mercury hit scorching highs of 32.4C at Hampton on Monday while temperatures in Northolt and Heathrow reached 32C.

But sun worshippers are in for even more of a treat with forecasters predicting peaks of 33C on Wednesday, marking the country’s first five-day heatwave since 1995.

Summer heatwave: Britain bakes as temperatures soar over 30 degrees

With Britons set to enjoy temperatures between 25C and 29C until the weekend, it looks likely the UK will experience its longest spell of warm weather since 1976, when the country was hit with a severe drought.

“Saturday, Sunday and Monday all topped each other for the hottest day of the year so far and Wednesday is set to be even hotter,” meteorologist Emma Salter told the Standard.


People relaxing in the sunshine in Granary Square on the hottest day of the year(Rex Features)

“On Tuesday we are in for another hot and humid day with temperatures reaching the late twenties followed by another sweaty night.”

Officials issued a heatwave warning on Tuesday night amid fears blazing heat could affect elderly people, children and those with medical conditions.


People enjoying the sun with a view over the city. (hookedontravel89)

NHS advice includes urging people to: “Spend time in the shade when the sun is strongest, between 11am and 3pm.”

It also said: “Keep rooms cool by using shades, have cool baths or showers and stay hydrated.”

Over the weekend peaks of 30C were recorded at Heathrow and Kew Gardens, the Met Office confirmed.


People relaxing near to the BT Tower. (channianni)

Londoners packed out parks and beer gardens to make the most of the sweltering heat.

Retailers told the Standard that certain warm-weather items have been “flying off the shelves” as the capital desperately attempts to stay cool.

GO Outdoors, the adventure retailer, said sales of barbecues are up 90.8 per cent on last week – with loungers up 82 per cent. Shorts are up 98.9 per cent, swimwear 11.8 per cent and outdoor games 197.8 per cent.

A GO Outdoors spokesman said: “It seems that heat-weary Londoners are hitting the water to escape the heatwave. It’s great to see so many people staying in the UK to enjoy the sun.”


Families flocked to Bournemouth to enjoy the weather (PA)

Waitrose said national sales of Rosé wine is up 108 per cent this week, cider 36 per cent, spirits 27 per cent and beer by 22 per cent.

Barbecue food sales are up 114 per cent, the supermarket said.

John Lewis said sales of fans, like their Air Circulator Tilt Fan which costs £44.95, were up 2000 per cent.

Cosmetics retailer Superdrug said sales of sun tan lotion was up 60 per cent week on week with Kids Sun Protection up by 120 per cent.


Specators enjoyed the British Tennis Championships as temperatures soared (Tony O'Brien/ Action Images via Reuters)

Sales of True Nopal cactus water are up 120 per cent on Ocado this week.

B London Boutique saw a 300 per cent increase in bikini sales over the weekend.


Glastonbury revellers look set to swap wellies for suncream (Rex Features)

Independent ice cream maker Jude’s said they were on for their “biggest week ever” in terms of sales. Chow Mezger (corr) managing director, said his team had spent the entire weekend making tens of thousands additional tubs of their best-selling salted caramel ice cream to meet demand. 

On Wednesday, many will leave the capital for Glastonbury festival where traditional mud baths look set to be replaced by glorious sunshine.

Festival-goers can expect highs of 28C on Wednesday while the mercury will drop to around 19C by Sunday with light drizzle expected. 

Meanwhile, the organisers of Royal Ascot, where men are required to wear a tie in the smarter enclosures and a waistcoat and black or grey top hat in the royal enclosure, are in talks over whether to relax the dress code. A decision will be announced at lunchtime today.

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