Half-baked Britain! Hot and bothered Britons fry eggs in 40C sun, call ice cream vans to their offices while a hiker discovers the coolest spot in UK (a patch of SNOW in the Cairngorms)
- With temperatures soaring past record levels today, Brits have been finding inventive ways to stay cool
- Hiker Regan Carter scaled Cairngorms mountain range to enjoy one of the last remaining patches of snow
- Animals at zoos were hosed down by their keepers, and chimpanzees in Chester given ice blocks to eat
- UK heatwave live: Latest weather updates as temperatures expected to hit 43C
Today’s unprecedented heat wave has sparked a range of weird and wonderful responses from across the UK.
With temperatures soaring past 40C (104F), parched Brits have been calling ice cream vans to their offices for a moment of cool relief, while one primary school in Wales gave pupils trays filled with water to rest their feet in.
In Scotland, hiker Regan Carter showed it is always possible to find somewhere cool even in a heatwave – by scaling the Cairngorms mountain range to enjoy one of the last remaining patches of snow.
Anyone with animals will know keeping them cool in searing temperatures is particularly difficult.
Johanna McQuade, keeper at Blair Drummond Safari and Adventure Park in Stirling, confronted the challenge by hosing down one of the park’s sea eagles – with the clearly grateful bird outstretching its wings to enjoy as much of the water as possible.
Similar scenes took place at Chester Zoo, where three Asian elephants were given a hose down while chimpanzees enjoyed frozen fruits to cool them down.
Johanna McQuade, keeper at Blair Drummond Safari and Adventure Park in Stirling, hosed down one of the park’s sea eagles
A sea eagle enjoying a shower as Brits swelter on the hottest day on record – with temperatures soaring past 40C
Rhiwbina primary school near Cardiff gave pupils trays filled with water to rest their feet in while they sat in their classes
In Scotland, hiker Regan Carter showed it is always possible to find somewhere cool even in a heatwave – by scaling the Cairngorms mountain range to enjoy one of the last remaining patches of snow
Fizzy POP! Plenty of Brits have seen cans of coke exploding due to hot temperatures causing the pressure to build up inside them
Other Brits decided to use the hot weather to their advantage and attempt the old trick of cooking a fried egg outside.
But none were entirely successful, with most ending in a runny mess.
While the lucky ones among us are sheltering from the heat in an air conditioned office, spare a thought for the Queen’s guards, who must continue to wear their traditional uniforms despite the sweltering heat.
Members of the Household Cavalry have been using electric fans to help them cope with the rising temperatures in London.
Troops were looking red in the face and sweating while standing watch in their heavy ceremonial uniforms and helmets at Horse Guards Parade in Westminster.
And the heat isn’t just uncomfortable – it can also create problems you never even knew about before.
At Chester zoo, chimpanzees were given ice blocks to enjoy, as elephants were treated to a sorely welcome shower
An Asian elephant cools down under a water spray at Chester Zoo as temperatures soared past 40C this afternoon
Western lowland gorilla Germot enjoying an ice lolly in his enclosure at London Zoo during today’s heatwave
Brits have been calling ice cream vans to workplaces and schools – leading to bumper business for their drivers
A huge queue forming outside an ice cream van today, as dozens enjoyed the traditional treat
Other Brits decided to use the hot weather to their advantage and attempt the old trick of cooking a fried egg outside. But none were entirely successful, with most ending in a runny mess
Tony Wilkinson, from Bournemouth, was at home when he heard a loud bang from his car.
Wondering what had happened, he searched the vehicle and found a diet coke can that had exploded.
‘Apparently, soda cans explode at 48.8C (120F),’ said his partner, Emma.
Today the mercury hit an unprecedented 40.2C (104.4F) at London Heathrow Airport at 12.50pm – around an hour after a reading of 39.1C (102.4F) in Charlwood, Surrey, beat the previous all-time UK high of 38.7C (101.7F) in Cambridge in July 2019.
In third place is 38.5C (101.3F) in Kent in August 2003, and 38.1C (100.6F) in Suffolk yesterday is fourth.
Elsewhere in England this afternoon, by lunchtime the mercury had got up to 39.9C (103.8F) at Charlwood, 39.6C (103.3F) at Kew Gardens in West London, 39.3C (102.7F) at Wisley in Surrey, and 39.2C (102.6F) at both Chertsey in Surrey and Northolt in West London – with all of these readings also beating the all-time UK high from 2019.
Forecasters said an absolute maximum of 43C (109F) is possible later on – and the highs in England are equal to the warmest spots anywhere in Europe today. The UK is also hotter than Jamaica, the Maldives and Barbados.
But the extreme heat is likely to end with a bang tomorrow, with the Met Office issuing a thunderstorm warning for between 1pm and 9pm across the South East amid concerns of sudden flooding, lightning strikes and power cuts. Forecasters said up to 1.2in (30mm) of rain could fall in some areas in just an hour and 2in (50mm) in three hours.
A member of the Household Troop has a fan placed next to him at Horse Guards Parade today
A member of F Company Scots Guards swelters in the heat during the Changing of the Guard ceremony on the forecourt of Buckingham Palace today
A police officer givers water to a British soldier wearing a traditional bearskin hat outside Buckingham Palace yesterday
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