More sunshine ahead as roads melt and hosepipe ban begins in Northern Ireland
There is no significant rainfall forecast for the coming days, the Met Office said.
Roads melted, train tracks reached 49C (120.2F) and a hosepipe ban came into force as the UK basks in the scorching heatwave.
The first hosepipe ban began in Northern Ireland at 6pm on Friday, with plenty more hot sunshine forecast for the coming days.
Northern Ireland Water said demand was outstripping supply, leaving them with no option but to bring in the ban in order to save water.
Elsewhere across the UK consumers are being urged to take simple steps to reduce the amount of water they use.
We’re still seeing high demand for water, even as we pump an extra 300 million litres into supply. To make sure our customers don’t experience low pressure we’re asking everyone to think of their neighbours and communities by using only the water they need.https://t.co/g44SveGIhS pic.twitter.com/ncdOuDC78p— Severn Trent (@stwater) June 28, 2018
Top tips include taking a shorter shower, not leaving the taps running and re-using paddling pool water for plants in the garden.
NI Water chief executive Sara Venning said: “We have maximised our water production and need customers’ help to reduce demand.
“We are asking customers to take heed of the hosepipe ban and stop non-essential water use – using hoses and sprinklers is causing demand to exceed the capacity to supply.”
HOSEPIPE BAN NORTHERN IRELAND— Northern Ireland Water (@niwnews) June 29, 2018
Visit https://t.co/8XfPSQN8Qi for details.
According to the latest information from the Met Office, the highest temperature on Friday was 32.5C (90.5F) in Porthmadog in Wales.
The mercury hit 30.1C (86.2F) in Castlederg in Northern Ireland, 29.4C (84.9F) in Bridgefoot in England, and 28.4C (83.1F) in Threave, Scotland.
Met Office forecaster Mark Wilson said temperatures may be slightly lower over the weekend, but will widely be in the balmy mid to high twenties.
Britons enjoyed the hottest temperature of the year for the fourth day in a row on Thursday as the mercury soared to 33C (91.4F) in Porthmadog in Wales.
While temperatures appear to have peaked for now, they will remain high into the weekend and early next week.
Saturday could see highs of 29C (84.2F) in England and Scotland, 27C (80.6F) in Northern Ireland and Wales, and predicted highs of around 31C (87.8F) in some parts of the UK by Monday.
Gritters have been deployed in some areas, spreading crushed rock dust onto melting roads to create a non-stick layer between the surface and vehicles.
And here's those gritters in action loading up at the depot #heatwaveuk @robhumby @hantshighways— Hampshire County Council (@hantsconnect) June 27, 2018
See @NHSChoices for advice on coping in hot weather and staying safe https://t.co/Er1Gx4xti9 pic.twitter.com/VeYauoCCm6
Motorists have been advised to use warm soapy water to wash sticky tar from their vehicles.
Some railway track soared to nearly 50C (122F), leading them to expand and bend.
Trains had to be stopped from running over a section of track near Carlisle station on Thursday.
Speed restrictions have been in place all week on the route from London Waterloo to New Malden due to the scorching temperatures, causing delays to services.
Translink Rail services also felt the heat as they were forced to delay and cancel services across Northern Ireland on Thursday as rail lines reached over 50C and began to buckle.
The Met Office’s heat-health watch alert has remained at level two all week, meaning social and healthcare services are at the ready to reduce harm from a potential heatwave.
This week is the first time since 2013 all four nations in the UK have seen temperatures of 30C or above, the Met Office said.
Public Health England issued a warning saying the extreme heat may pose a risk to the most vulnerable.
The rising temperatures have also come with warnings to be careful near water and in the countryside, where fire crews have been tackling wildfires.
The heat has already claimed casualties.
The family of 13-year-old Ryan Evans, whose body was recovered on Wednesday, two days after he got into difficulty at Westport Lake in Stoke-on-Trent, warned of the dangers of playing and swimming in open water.
They said: “We just cannot emphasis enough the dangers of swimming in open water, especially where young children are concerned.
“Our message is simple, please don’t do it.”
A 17-year-old boy was found dead in the River Aire in Leeds in the early hours of Wednesday morning following a search and rescue operation.
It is believed he got into difficulties while swimming on Tuesday evening.
The body of a man was also recovered from a lake in Nutfield, Surrey, on Monday.
The RNLI has urged those heading to the seaside to seek out beaches with a lifeguard.
Despite these tragic facts, drowning prevention receives little recognition and even fewer resources. But we can and we must prevent drowning. The more we work together, the more lives we save. All of us can end the epidemic of drowning. Read on: https://t.co/4QWprEQ9Vs pic.twitter.com/eVBYwaE2hH— RNLI (@RNLI) June 28, 2018
There is bad news for farmers growing crops and the firefighters and soldiers battling the ongoing incident on Saddleworth Moor in north-west England as no significant rainfall is forecast in the coming days.
Mr Madge said: “There is a low probability of showers on Sunday. If they do bring some rainfall it would be in the South West but that will be very sporadic.”
Parts of Saddleworth Moor have been alight for six days, with firefighters saying it could take weeks to extinguish.
A new moorland blaze – on Winter Hill, near Rivington, Lancashire – broke out on Thursday with huge plumes of smoke visible from the area surrounding the moorland.
Heading out this weekend? Here is the latest forecast pic.twitter.com/4naU5cgkTC— Met Office (@metoffice) June 29, 2018
Firefighters are also still fighting a 500-metre long gorse fire on the Glenshane Pass in County Londonderry, more than 48 hours after it first broke out.
The RSPCA called on pet owners to keep a close eye on their animals in the heat after receiving 625 calls about animals in hot environments between June 11 and 24 – the majority about dogs in hot cars.
The hot spell is good news for gardeners, with horticultural experts saying it could help produce excellent vegetables, fruit and flowers.
The Royal Horticultural Society have suggested people use waste water from the kitchen to keep plants nourished and to reduce demand for water.