Firefighters were called to more fires yesterday and weather forecasters said that the country was facing another heatwave this week. In Surrey, fire broke out on Hankley Common, near Farnham, which the MoD uses for military training. In London there were “significant” incidents of weather-related fires, and the brigade told people to cancel barbecues and put cigarettes out carefully.
At Lenham Heath, in Kent, a farmer ploughed through crops to create a fire break on Saturday.
The Met Office defines a heatwave as at least three consecutive days with daily maximum temperatures meeting or exceeding the heatwave temperature threshold.
A heatwave in London starts at 28C, and for much of the UK the key temperature is 25C.
Alex Burkill, Met Office meteorologist, said: “Temperatures are going to rise as we go through the end of this week and this coming weekend. A heatwave at the end of this week or this coming weekend is certainly possible but how hot it is going to get we cannot say with any confidence.
“While it is going to be a hot spell, it is not going to be as extreme as what has already happened last week.”
Temperatures soared to a record 40.3C in Coningsby, Lincolnshire, on Tuesday. On both July 18 and 19, temperatures exceeded 38C, with only two previous dates exceeding this threshold in Met Office data.
Photos of the lush green lawns at King’s College, Cambridge, taken in 2018 and last week, show how the Backs, in the centre of the city, has changed colour in the blistering heat. Burkill added: “Through August it looks like the weather is going to be fairly standard, there will be some spells of unsettled weather but there will also be some more settled and hot spells.”
August would be changeable but still with hot spells, he added.