Britain’s freakish heat demolished records

The maximum temperature reached Tuesday in Coningsby, England — 130 miles (209km) north of London — was unlike anything the village had ever observed. It was an outlier in the truest sense: about 9˚F (5˚C) above the previous highest temperature.

That high temperature, 104.5˚F (40.3˚C), shattered the national temperature record for Britain by a lofty 2.9˚F (1.6˚C).

Ordinarily, when temperature records are broken during heat waves, they do so in a few places and by fractional degrees. But on Tuesday, records in the United Kingdom toppled over a vast area and by enormous margins.

The magnitude and extent of Tuesday’s temperatures underscored the exceptional nature of this extreme event — which scientists say would have been impossible without a boost from human-caused climate change.

As Coningsby set the national temperature record for England and the United Kingdom, all-time highs were also set in Scotland and Wales:

  • Hawarden, Wales, hit 98.8˚F (37.1˚C)
  • Floors Castle, Scotland, hit 95.2˚F (35.1˚C)

England, Wales and Scotland also established their highest minimum (nighttime) temperatures ever recorded. At London’s Kenley Airport, the record-setting low was a tropical 78.4˚F (25.8˚C).

At least 34 locations in the U.K. set new all-time records, the U.K. Met Office reported, five of them exceeding 104˚F (40˚C).