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Britain records hottest day ever at 104 degrees, shattering record

“We are not ready on this at all,” said Ed Miliband, member of Parliament, who covers climate change for the opposition Labour Party. “Not by a long shot.”

Britain “well and truly” shattered the record for its hottest day Tuesday, provisionally hitting the highest temperature ever documented in southeast England.

A temperature of 104.3 Fahrenheit was provisionally recorded at Heathrow Airport on Tuesday at around 12:50 p.m. local time (7:50 a.m.), the Meteorological Office said. Earlier in the day, a temperature of 102.4 had already been provisionally recorded at Charlwood, Surrey, already breaking records.

Earlier, the Met Office said on its website that the ongoing heat wave was the first time it had forecast temperatures of 104 F. The previous high of 101.6 F was set in Cambridge Botanic Garden on July 25, 2019.

The record-breaking heat marks “an exceptional historic day, really, for the U.K.,” Craig Snell, a meteorologist for the Met Office told NBC News in a phone interview. “It’s certainly going to be going down in the record books.”

And, Snell said, “it’s likely that the temperature may well continue to rise,” with a peak at temperatures expected at around 4 or 5 p.m. local time. “I wouldn’t be surprised if that (104.3) goes up a little bit more.”

As the U.K. grapples with the extreme heat, neighboring France’s southwestern region of Gironde continues to see wildfires spreading to 27,000 acres, forcing thousands to flee their homes. And in Portugal, where wildfires are also raging, more than 650 have died amid soaring temperatures.

The Met office had said that parts of the U.K. could experience temperatures of more than 104 F on Tuesday when it issued a “red” warning for extreme heat for much of central, northern and southeast England.

On Monday, Wales recorded its hottest day on record at 98.7 F, while a high of 100.5 F was hit in Suffolk on Monday, just shy of the U.K. record.

The Met Office said parts of the country had “provisionally” experienced the warmest night on record in Britain overnight, as well as the “highest daily minimum temperature.”

Image: UK Met Office Issues First 'Red Warning' For Extreme Heat
Two women dip their heads into the fountain to cool off in London's Trafalgar Square on Tuesday.Dan Kitwood / Getty Images

“Temperatures didn’t fall below 25 C (77 F) in places, exceeding the previous highest daily minimum record of 23.9 C (75.02 F), recorded in Brighton on 3rd August 1990,” it said in a tweet.

The Met Office warned that Tuesday’s extreme heat could lead to “serious illness or danger to life.” As a result, it has said that “substantial changes in working practices and daily routines will be required.”

It also warned of a “high risk of failure” of heat-sensitive systems and equipment, which could lead to localized losses of power and other essential services, including water or cellphone services.

The soaring temperatures have already had a major impact on travel, with London Luton Airport on Monday forced to temporarily suspend flights to allow for a runway repair after it said high surface temperatures “caused a small section of the runway to lift.” The issue was fixed and the runway was fully operational within hours.

In the capital, London’s busy Oxford Circus station was evacuated Tuesday morning following reports of smoke from an escalator machine room.

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