London heat wave: latest updates | londoner

Image: Shutterstock

You may have heard… it’s going to be quite hot in London early next week.

A heat wave is forecast in the capital, with predictions of the highest temperatures ever seen in this part of the world. The message from official channels is that it’s not just a few sunny days, but possibly unprecedented extreme weather. We will all need to take extra precautions to keep ourselves and others safe.

We will keep this page updated with what is happening in London as the situation progresses.

Met Office issues first red warning for heat

The UK’s national weather service, the Met Office, has issued its first red warning for exceptional heat. It is expected to reach 38-40°c (100-104°F) in London on Monday and Tuesday of next week. To date, the highest temperature ever recorded in the UK was 38.7°c in Cambridge in 2019. The London record is 38.1°c, recorded at Heathrow in 2003.

A red warning means dangerous weather conditions are expected, and you should take steps to keep yourself and others safe.

On Friday morning, the Met Office’s chief meteorologist, Paul Gundersen, said:

Exceptional, perhaps record-breaking temperatures are likely early next week to spread quite a bit across the red warning area on Monday and center a little further east and north on Tuesday. There is currently a 50% chance that we could see temperatures above 40°C and an 80% chance that a new maximum temperature will be reached.

At the time of writing (Friday afternoon), an amber heat warning has been issued in London for Sunday, meaning a serious disruption as a result of the weather is likely, with red heat warnings in effect for Monday 18 and Tuesday 19 July. Stay up-to-date with the latest warnings and forecasts on the Meteorological office website.

Scorched grass in London during the July 2018 heatwave. Photo Mark Ramsay via creative commons

Health tips for the heat wave

That Met Office warning comes hand-in-hand with a Level 4 Heat Health Alert (Emergency Level). This means that the heat is likely to be so severe that it will affect not only groups of people who are usually affected by severe weather (such as the elderly and children), but healthy people could be affected as well.

the Government heatwave plan for England offers advice on how to protect yourself and those around you. The National Health Service it also has some tips (although keep in mind that this page is aimed at all heat waves, and not specifically the extreme heat wave we’re seeing this week). Top tips include:

  • Drink much liquid
  • Avoid excess alcohol
  • Stay out of direct sunlight whenever possible, especially between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m., and close the curtains in sun-facing rooms to keep them cool during the day.
  • Apply sunscreen and wear a hat when outside
  • Slow down, avoid exercising in peak heat.
  • Do not leave people or animals in parked cars.

London transport heatwave updates

Expect delays if you travel by train. Photo: Divyansh Jain via Unsplash

national railway warns of severe disruption to train services on the hottest days in England and Wales, due to the need to run trains at lower speeds than normal. This is due to the possibility of extreme heat damaging tracks or overhead wires. There are no revised schedules; it’s just a matter of checking on the day if your service is working and allowing additional time to complete your trip. Network Rail advises that travel only if absolutely necessary.

TfL have yet to release any specific updates related to the heat. check the trip planner before you travel for the latest updates.

National Highways has some tips for motorists in extreme heat.

What is closed in London during the heat wave?

Some venues, attractions and services may be closed during hot weather for the safety of staff and the general public. If you have plans for Sunday through Tuesday, check with where you’re going before you leave to make sure it’s open as usual.

ZSL London Zoo has said it will remain open, but there may be some changes:

The Great City Race, a 5K race through the city of London that was to take place on Tuesday, has been postponed.

Instead, hammersmith bridge it is kept open (to pedestrians and cyclists), wrapped in an insulating sheet to keep it cool in hot weather. In 2018, microfractures in its pedestals widened during a heat wave. It is expected to remain open during the hot weather this year, but if any of its chains reach 18C the bridge will have to be closed for safety reasons.

Staying cool in London in a heatwave

Oh yes please. Image: Shutterstock

So what can you do to stay cool as temperatures rise? The best advice is to stay indoors, somewhere with air conditioning if possible, and avoid going out in the sun during the hottest part of the day.

We’ve put together a guide to staying cool in London during the summer heatwave, covering everything from air-conditioned tube routes to the best beer gardens (but stay under an umbrella and avoid overindulgence!) to cool off and of course plenty of places to swim (although they will be VERY busy).

The London Mayor’s Office has compiled a Cool Spaces Mapshowing indoor and outdoor spaces where you can take a breather on a hot day, such as areas with lots of canopy cover that provides shade.

There’s also Recharge Londonwhich shows you where you can refill your water bottle for free, helping Londoners stay hydrated and avoid unnecessary use of plastic.

Severe Weather Emergency Protocols they have also been activated to help sleepers in the heat wave. The measures include local districts stepping up wellness checks on vulnerable people and providing them with sunscreen and water, although some may argue this is not enough and shelters should be opened, as they are in extreme winter weather, to provide them with protection. sleepers with somewhere to seek shelter.


We will update this page as we learn more about how the heatwave is affecting London. Please check back for the latest updates.

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