Officials Announce 101.66 F Heat Wave Sets Potential Record For Hottest Day Ever In Britain

A picturesque shot of London with the ferris wheel in the background
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People in the United Kingdom with swimming pools have become ultra-popular this summer as a heat wave has stalled over the region, and the highest temperature ever was posted Thursday at the Cambridge University Botanic Garden.

The Daily Mail shared that the prior record in the U.K. was 101.3 degrees F (Faversham, Kent, in August 2003), but the posted temperature on Thursday was 101.66, and this is currently being verified by the Met Office.

England wasn’t the only location in Europe that experienced sweltering heat as Paris broke records with 109, breaking a 70-year record, and Germany, Belgium, and the Netherlands also set all-time records of temperatures over 105.

Thunderstorms have started moving into the U.K., which should help with the cool-down, but the forecast still indicates that it should be over 90 all next week, which is still very hot in a city where air conditioning isn’t common.

Dr. Mark McCarthy from the National Climate Centre (NCIC) at the Met Office said the weather service provider is now working hard to validate the potential record-breaking temperature.

“We are talking about a potential record for the highest temperature recorded in the U.K. and we therefore need to thoroughly investigate the observation with our partners at Cambridge University Botanic Garden through statistical analysis and by visiting, to check the site and equipment and ensure there are no potential problems.”

The Independent reports that while documenting the record is exciting, it is also worrying to those who point out that it’s abnormal for it to be this hot in Great Britain. Jaise Kuriakose, a lecturer at the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research in Manchester, said that it’s not just the temperature that is a concern, but also the speed at which climate change appears to be happening across Europe.

He explains that while the current heat wave is important to note, there are other factors to keep an eye on.

“Although a record temperature is not surprising for me, I am bit alarmed with how fast we are breaking temperature records across Europe and in [the] Arctic.”

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Kuriakose adds that looking at the way the weather is trending as we approach 2030 and 2050 and the things that can be done to mitigate the changes should be the focus. He explains that a “business as usual” approach will only lead to more severe weather.

Karsten Haustein, of the Environmental Change Institute, University of Oxford, calls these changes “weather on steroids.”