UK’s Hottest Day Ever Threatens 200-Year-Old Railways Network

Britain Heat Wave: Britain’s Met Office climate forecaster declared a nationwide emergency.


The UK broke an unwelcome file on Tuesday when Heathrow in south-west London recorded 40.2 levels Celsius on the most popular day ever skilled within the nation.

The studying got here quickly after Surrey in south-east England had damaged the file of the best temperature ever since data started at 39 levels Celsius. The earlier file excessive temperature was 38.7C, set in 2019 at Cambridge Botanic Garden in japanese England.

The Meteorological (Met) Office mentioned the readings are provisional because the temperatures are anticipated to soar even additional with different areas reporting their readings at totally different instances of the day.

The nation was braced for “unpreceded” temperatures on Tuesday after the continuing warmth wave resulted within the hottest evening on file at 26 levels Celsius in elements of London in a single day on Monday.

The Met Office purple warning of hazard to life from excessive warmth stays in place for a lot of central, northern, and south-east England, together with the capital metropolis. At least 5 persons are believed to have drowned after making an attempt to flee the warmth in rivers and lakes.

“Tuesday might be a fairly unprecedented day, with the mercury probably reaching highs of 41C in spots in England. This will make it the most popular day on file and the primary time we now have seen temperatures as excessive as 40C,” said Rachel Ayers, a Met Office forecaster.

“There are likely to be delays on roads, with road closures, as well as possible delays and cancellations to trains and maybe issues with air travel. This could pose a significant health risk to those stuck on services or roads during the heat,” she mentioned.

A excessive of 38.1C was reached in Suffolk, japanese England, on Monday, simply wanting the UK file of 38.7C set in 2019. Scotland and Wales are additionally forecast to see their hottest days on file after a scorching Monday, when the latter set a brand new excessive temperature mark at 37.1C.

Network Rail issued a “do not travel” warning for Tuesday, affecting providers touring via the “red zone” beneath the Met Office warning map. Transport Secretary Grant Shapps mentioned the UK’s rail community couldn’t address the intense warmth, including that it might take “many years” earlier than upgrades would imply providers might deal with the warmer local weather.

“The simple answer is no, the network cannot cope with the heat right now,” he advised the BBC.

“In 40C heat, tracks can reach 50C, 60C, and even 70C, and there’s a severe danger of tracks buckling and a terrible derailing. We are building new specifications, creating overhead lines that can withstand higher temperatures. But with the best will in the world, this is infrastructure which has taken decades to build, with some of our railways stretching back 200 years,” he mentioned.

The nation’s infrastructure structured round chilly temperatures has struggled to deal with the intense warmth for the reason that weekend. Runways at Luton Airport and Royal Air Force (RAF) Brize Norton had been additionally impacted by the warmth on Monday, forcing plane to divert.

There have been warnings of stress on hospitals and ambulance providers as temperatures are set to peak on Tuesday. Monday noticed a variety of faculties shut forward of a scheduled annual summer season break.

Water firms in southern and japanese England have warned elevated demand is resulting in low stress, and even interrupted provide, for some households.

According to specialists, heatwaves have gotten extra seemingly and extra excessive due to human-induced local weather change. The world has already warmed by about 1.1C for the reason that industrial period started, and temperatures are set to maintain rising except sharp cuts are made to carbon emissions.

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