Wildfires were sparked, pavements warped and trains forced to slow down as Britain sweated through the hottest day of the year so far today as temperatures made it all the way to 84.9F (29C).
Forecasters expect the country to experience a heatwave hotter than Rio de Janeiro all week. The scorching weather caused a section of pavements in Edinburgh to rise up and bend.
Stunned shoppers were stopped in their tracks at Leith’s Newkirkgate Shopping Centre Stunned when part of the pavement suddenly began to warp, give way and rise.
The scorching sunshine sparked wildfires in the West Penine Moors near Chorley, Lancashire (firefighters pictured tackling the blaze this evening)
Trains were grounded to a halt in Scotland as the sweltering sun buckled this railroad at Wishaw near Glasgow
The sweltering heat has also caused a large moor fire in Saddleworth which could be seen 15 miles away in Manchester.
The heat even sparked up two shed fires a short drive away from Saddleworth Moor around midday which had to be tackled by firefighters. The road was also closed off.
The blaze began on the hills between Dove Stone Reservoir and Carrbrook in Tameside at 8.20pm last night and was quickly brought under control – but then started again this morning due to the heat and light winds.
Smoke is billowing from a wildfire today on Saddleworth Moor between Dove Stone Reservoir and Carrbrook in Tameside
A fire crew and two wildfire units were at the scene in the remote area of Greater Manchester countryside this afternoon
A firefighter from Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue escort service in DC puts out a blaze in Saddleworth caused by the heat today
A fire crew and two wildfire units were at the scene in the remote area of countryside this afternoon, and workers in Manchester told how they could see the plumes of smoke from their office windows.
A new UK 2018 record temperature of 84.9F (29.4C) was set at St James’s Park in London today, breaking the previous record of 84.4F (29.1C) which was set in the same park more than two months ago on April 19.
Meanwhile train commuters were warned by Great Western Railway that delays may be caused in and out of London Paddington station later this week by speed limits imposed as a safeguard against the tracks buckling.
Katie Brett enjoys the warm weather in Birmingham as temperatures breach the 80F mark in parts of Britain today
Aleksandra Vasileva (left) and Georgia Beckley-Bowman go for a dip in the sea in Exmouth, Devon, today in the heatwave
People enjoy their lunch break in the sunshine near Tower Bridge in London this afternoon
Londoners enjoy the hot weather at Green Park today as the capital basks in 80F-plus temperatures
A woman makes the most of the sunshine at Hyde Park in London today as the capital basks in warm weather
Elephants Aayu, Indali and Sundara use the pool to cool down at Chester Zoo in the warm weather today
A couple walk in the sunshine around Bewl Water in Kent as temperatures soar past the 80F mark in Britain
People enjoy the hot weather on Alnmouth beach in Northumberland today as Britain enjoys a heatwave this week
Sophie Laydon, three, cools off in the water fountains at Keel Square in Sunderland this afternoon
Sunseekers enjoy the hot weather this morning on the beach at Ventnor on the south-east coast of the Isle of Wight
Women enjoy walking in the warm weather this morning in Birmingham as temperatures are set to hit highs of 84F today
GWR said damage can be caused when trains speed over the metal of the rails after it expands in the heat. By slowing down the trains, rails have less force going through them – and so are not as likely to be damaged.
And things are going to get even hotter this week, with parts of the South East and central England are likely to enjoy temperatures up to 91F (33C), making them warmer than parts of Brazil.
Forecasters said temperatures will be several degrees above average and there will be wall-to-wall sunshine for the next few days, with the mercury rarely dipping below the high-70s Fahrenheit (mid-20s Celsius).
Wednesday and Thursday are likely to be the hottest days of the year so far, with temperatures expected to nudge 91F on Thursday in London. Rio might be in its winter, but still enjoys an average temperature of 81F (27C) in June.
The UK enjoyed crystal clear skies across the country today, as seen in this image taken by the Modis Nasa satellite
The high temperatures and blue skies will continue into the weekend. It will also be dry, with only a small chance of thunderstorms threatening any rain next weekend.
Yesterday, Met Office forecaster Sophie Yeomans predicated that this week was likely to be a record breaker, saying: ‘The number to beat is 29.1C, which was recorded in London in April.
‘We are likely to better that some time this week, most likely on Wednesday or Thursday. The overnight temperatures, which have been quite cold over the past week, will also be good so it will feel more muggy.’
Forecasters say the jet stream is pushing warmer air up from Europe, creating the sunny, pleasant conditions.
Workers enjoy lunch outside in Birmingham this afternoon as the West Midlands enjoys warm temperatures today
A woman keeps hydrated as she enjoys the warm weather while sitting on a blanket at a park in Birmingham today
A woman makes the most of the warm weather as she cycles through Cambridge today
A man reads a book while sat on a deckchair at Hyde Park in London today as the capital basks in sunshine
A woman listens to music as she sunbathes at Hyde Park today with Londoners making the most of the warm weather
Tourists and students enjoy the hot weather punting on the River Cam in Cambridge today
A beautiful scene along a canal in Birmingham today as Britain gets set to bake in its hottest temperatures so far this year
Elephants Aayu, Indali and Sundara use the pool to cool down at Chester Zoo amid the warm temperatures today
A woman looks on her phone as Londoners enjoy the hot weather at Hyde Park today
A woman rests her head and enjoys a doze as people make the most of the warm weather in Birmingham today
A woman sips a drink as Londoners enjoy the hot weather at Hyde Park today
A stunning sunrise over a boat with a flag supporting the England team in the Channel near Selsey, West Sussex, this morning
Miss Yeomans said that at this time of year the temperatures were usually around 68F (20C) in England and Wales, 64F (18C) in Northern Ireland and 60F (16C) in Scotland.
‘Temperatures will feel considerably warmer than this and we could even see the record broken for the hottest day in Northern Ireland,’ she said. ‘The maximum temperature ever recorded in Northern Ireland is 30.8C but that could go this week.
‘In the South and inland areas by Wednesday temperatures could get up to 31C (87.8F), even 32C (89.6F) to 33C (91.4F) on Thursday.’
The hot spell, however, will not be welcomed by all. Miss Yeomans added: ‘The pollen levels are going to be very high right throughout the week, with grass pollen the main allergen there, so for hay fever sufferers it’s bad news.’