UK heatwave: Record for hottest day ever 'provisionally broken'

The Met Office observations team recorded a provisional figure of 38.7 C at Cambridge University Botanic Garden

Following yesterday’s exceptionally hot weather, provisional figures received by the Met Office today could challenge the UK’s highest temperature on record.

Today the Met Office observations team has received a new provisional figure of 38.7 Celsius from Cambridge University Botanic Garden.

The current highest temperature on record for the UK is 38.5 Celsius, recorded in Faversham in August 2003.

The temperature recorded yesterday at Cambridge University Botanic Garden will require quality control and analysis over the next few days and if validated, would become the highest temperature officially recorded in the UK.

People punt along the River Cam in Cambridge on Thursday where Met Office forecasters believe they have recorded the UK's hottest ever temperature. (PA)

Official temperatures yesterday (Thursday 25th) reached 38.1 Celsius in Cambridge, setting a new current record for the highest July temperature.

Dr Mark McCarthy from the National Climate Centre (NCIC) at the Met Office said: ‘As the official source of meteorological statistics for the UK, we take the quality of our recordings very seriously.

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‘We are talking about a potential new record for the highest temperature recorded in the UK and we therefore need to thoroughly investigate the observation with our partners at Cambridge University Botanic Garden through statistical analysis and by visiting, to check the site and equipment and ensure there are no potential problems.’

‘The Met Office observations team will carefully analyse this figure, along with any other readings submitted over the coming weeks and will keep the public, our partners and government updated.’

Thursday was the hottest July day on record, with the 38.1C (100.6F) in Cambridge beating the previous record of 36.7C (98.1F) set in Heathrow four years ago.

It was also the second-hottest UK day, coming close to the record of 38.5C (101.3F) set in Faversham, Kent, in August 2003.

A yellow warning was issued for thunderstorms in most of England and parts of Scotland expired at 4am on Friday.

Thousands of journeys across the UK were disrupted on Thursday due to fierce lightning storms.

Some passengers at Heathrow reported being stuck in the airport for over 16 hours waiting for a flight.