Mercury surpassed the UK's all-time high of 39.1 degrees on Tuesday.
The temperature could exceed the 40°C threshold in the United Kingdom on Tuesday, a first in this country hit like the rest of Western Europe by a heat wave which causes forest fires.
This is the second intense heat event in barely a month in Europe. This multiplication is a direct consequence of the climate crisis according to scientists, with greenhouse gas emissions increasing in intensity, duration and frequency.
The mercury surpassed an all-time UK record with 39.1 degrees late morning in Charlwood, south London, the Met Office said, adding that temperatures would continue to rise during the day and could exceed the 40 degree mark in the south-east of the country. The last British record dates back to July 25, 2019, with 38.7 degrees recorded in Cambridge [south-east].
Of course, the English are not used to that. It's hard to be outside, even in the shade it's stifling, Emily Nixon, 34, told AFP, who found refuge in a municipal swimming pool on Monday. in London.
On Monday, 38.1°C was recorded in the east of England, the highest temperature this year, the third on record in UK. And the country experienced its hottest night ever recorded between Monday and Tuesday, with temperatures that in places did not drop below 25 degrees, announced the Met Office.
At 10 a.m. GMT it was already over 37 degrees in south east England.
Transport Minister Grant Schapps stressed on the BBC that no, the country's public transport was not able to handle such heat. The British rail network manager recorded the highest temperature ever recorded on a rail in the country: 62°C.
The government has been accused of taking the phenomenon lightly. Resigning Prime Minister Boris Johnson skipped an emergency crisis meeting on Sunday, preferring to attend a farewell party, and Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab told Britons to enjoy the sunshine.
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The UK Meteorological Agency says temperatures could exceed 40 degrees in the south-east of the country on Tuesday.
Environmental activists from the group Extinction Rebellion smashed windows of News UK, which notably publishes the tabloid The Sun, on Tuesday morning to protest against the treatment of the heat wave in some media.
The Sunchose to feature images of women in bikinis, beaches and happy children with ice cream, the group denounced. Another tabloid on Monday headlined It's not the end of the world, stay cool and carry on.
Elsewhere in Europe, the Bas, who recorded their hottest day of the year at 35.4C on Monday, were already facing temperatures of 33 degrees around 09:20 GMT. Some 39°C are expected in the afternoon.
Belgium fears records, the thermometer can climb in places up to 40°C. Exceptionally, the major museums run by the federal state are accessible free of charge to those over 65 who can find some freshness there.
In France, the temperature should drop on Tuesday on the Atlantic coast after a complicated night in Gironde on the front of the two giant fires which have already ravaged 17,000 hectares of forest.
On Monday, records were broken in several cities: 39.3°C in Brest [northwest], 42°C in Nantes [center west] or 42.6°C in Biscarosse [southwest], according to Météo France . The absolute record in the country, 46°C, dates back to June 28, 2019 in Vérargues [south].
Some 16,000 people had to be evacuated on Monday under more than 40°C in reason for the fires in the Bordeaux region.
In Brittany, a region generally little affected by forest fires, nearly 1,400 hectares of vegetation went up in smoke in Finistère and 500 people were evacuated, with 260 firefighters still hard at work on Tuesday morning.
In France, temperatures are expected to drop a little, but the country's authorities have urged caution.
In Spain, where the extreme heat wave has been raging for almost ten days, forest fires continued to rage on Tuesday morning, especially in the province of Zamora [north-west]. According to regional authorities, nearly 6,000 people had to be evacuated because of the flames which destroyed several thousand hectares of meadows and forests.
A slight respite was announced on the temperature side by the national meteorological agency, while the mercury has blithely exceeded 40 degrees in recent days.
Climate change kills people […], but also our ecosystem, our biodiversity, reacted on Monday the President of the Government Pedro Sanchez.
In Portugal, more than 1,400 firefighters continued to fight fires in the center and north of the country on Tuesday morning.
The two most worrying forest fires in the extreme north of the country. One of them mobilized nearly 700 firefighters on Tuesday and led to the evacuation of 300 people on Monday evening.
A couple in their 70s died in the area on Monday after running off the road as they tried to escape the flames.
A further rise in temperatures is scheduled for Wednesday in the country.
In Portugal, the fires are still raging.
The whole of Germany is also facing this heat wave, but in Lower Saxony [northwest] temperatures could reach 40 degrees today and therefore approach the maximum of 42.6 degrees recorded in this region in July 2019 by the German Weather Service (DWD).
Around half of the territory of the EU currently faces a risk of drought due to the prolonged lack of rainfall, which exposes countries like Fr ance, Romania, Spain, Portugal and Italy to a likely decline in crop yields, according to the European Commission.