TODAY is now officially the HOTTE,上海品茶微信Tomas,ST of the year so far as 33C was recorded during a mini-heatwave – but thunderstorms are on their way.
Brits are packing out beaches in the scorching heat as the Met Office warned of lightning amid potential highs of 35C.
The highest temperature as recorded in Charlwood, Surrey – and weather forecasters warned the mercury would continue to rise throughout the afternoon.
Roasting conditions came as the Met Office issued yellow weather warnings for lightning across the east of Northern Ireland and parts of southwest Scotland until 1pm today.
A second warning issued for tonight from 6pm until midnight warned thunderstorms may affect parts of northern England and southeast Scotland, with flooding and train delays on the cards.
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Network Rail has advised passengers to plan ahead as hot weather could push track temperatures above 50C and slow operations.
The RAC also warned that coastal and other tourist routes could be hit by breakdowns.
Emergency services have issued warnings and advice to the public to take care in the hot conditions.
A “tongue of fire” – the 1,500-mile wide heatwave scorching Europe – has already seen France endure its hottest day ever at 45.8C, as it inches closer to the UK.
And there is a chance today could be the hottest June day for 178 years, which is when the Met Office records began in 1841.
Forecasters said there is a 50% chance of breaking the June 35.6C record – set on June 29, 1957, in London and on June 28, 1976 in Southampton.
Met Office forecaster Nicola Maxey said: “There’s a 50 per cent chance of Saturday seeing over the 35.6C June record, most likely between London and Lincolnshire.
“Even York could see 32C. Friday had Glastonbury close to its 31.2C record.
“There’s remarkable heat across many parts of Europe, with highs in the 40s and records being broken.
“Saturday in the UK will be hot and sunny with very high UV, so take precautions, drink plenty of water and stay in the shade if you can.
“It’s cooler on Sunday in Atlantic air, with 26C highs.”
According to Network Rail, steel rails absorb heat easily and tend to hover about 20C above the surrounding air temperature.
In very hot conditions rails can flex, bend or even buckle, so trains have to run at slower speeds.
Mini weather stations and thousands of track-side probes help Network Rail monitor conditions.
Specialist weather forecasters help inform plans and in some parts rails are painted white to help keep them cooler.
James Dean, chief operating officer for North West and Central, said: “Keeping passengers moving is always our top priority.
“But we want people to be prepared.
“If the soaring temperatures do lead to us having to put in place slower speeds for safety reasons, please bear with us as our dedicated teams of engineers work to fix the problem.
“It may mean your journey takes longer over some portions of your journey.
“We’d also remind passengers to carry some water with them so they don’t get too parched.”
RAC patrol of the year Ben Aldous warned that the forecast conditions could be “a recipe for a soaring number of breakdowns in certain parts of the country”.
He added: “It’s a sad reality that some drivers will likely encounter an unwelcome and unscheduled stop at the side of the road – they will have to hope they can find some safe shelter from the sun, but it could still mean they suffer some day trip distress.”