UK heatwave breaks records as Brits roast in 40 C temperatures

Passersby walk towards an LED sign saying “18 -19 July extreme heat only travel if essential.”  | Photo by Sebastian Gollnow / picture alliance via Getty Images

The UK recorded temperatures rising above 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit) for the first time in its 350 years of climate records. The searing heatwave is unprecedented in a country that’s used to much cooler summer weather and is a bellwether of more extremes to come.

The heat is so bad that it’s buckled an airport runway, forcing London Luton Airport to temporarily suspend flights on Monday. Rail services across parts of the UK ground to a halt as tracks also buckled or overheated, and overhead cables failed and even caught on fire. Over 48 hours, England and Wales grappled with twice as many wildfires as it did throughout the entire month of July last year. Parched grass turned to tinder, sparking blazes that threatened…

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