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New temperature record for the year as Britain basks in heatwave

The mercury has topped 31.9C (89.4F) in north-west Wales, making Wednesday the hottest day of the year so far.

Temperatures have hit 31.9C (89.4F) in Wales – making Wednesday the hottest day of the year so far as the heatwave continues.

Porthmadog in north-west Wales beat the 30.7C (87.3F) recorded in Rostherne in Cheshire on Tuesday.

The Met Office warned that temperatures were still rising, meaning the record could be broken within the next 24 hours.

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(PA Graphics)

A spokesman for the Met Office said: “The temperature seen at Porthmadog will not necessarily be the highest today but it is the record so far this year.

“We could see temperatures keep rising until three or four o’clock.”

The hot weather looks like it is here to stay, the spokesman said.

“Over the next few days the high pressure will remain so there will be blue skies across the UK and that will last certainly into the weekend.

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Norman the puggle takes a dip at Portobello beach (Andrew Milligan/PA)

“We may see some thunderstorms on Sunday or Monday but nothing’s certain.

“But we can expect these sorts of high temperatures to be reached certainly until Saturday.”

After a very dry month, there is still no rain on the horizon, particularly if the potential thunderstorms fail to materialise this weekend.

The rising temperatures have 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 – a 17-year-old boy was recovered from the River Aire in Leeds in the early hours of Wednesday morning following a search a rescue operation.

It is believed he got into difficulties while swimming on Tuesday evening.

Elsewhere, the search continues for 13-year-old Ryan Evans who has been missing since Monday after getting into difficulty in Westport Lake in Stoke-on-Trent.

The alarm was raised when he was spotted in distress with two other boys at one end of the lake at around 5pm.

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.

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Joe Taylorson from Cumbria paddle boards in the Solent in Hampshire (Andrew Matthews/PA)

Part of Saddleworth Moor in the Peak District has been gripped by wildfire since Sunday afternoon with the army on standby while fire crews battle to bring the blaze under control.

A number of homes were evacuated and pockets of fire continue to burn across an area of around six kilometres, Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service said.

The RSPCA also 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.

A spokeswoman said: “(We’re receiving) almost two calls every hour, despite the charity’s key advice being to call the police on 999 in the event of an emergency.”

Commuters have also endured delays after rail services were forced to impose speed limits due to overheating tracks.

Network Rail’s extreme weather action teams are being activated across the country to monitor “vulnerable locations”.

Network Rail said hot weather can cause the steel on rail lines to expand and in some cases buckle, causing travel disruption.

Slower trains exert lower forces on the track, reducing the likelihood of buckling.

South Western Railway said temperatures were expected to reach 47C on many parts of its route this week.

Services on the London Waterloo to New Malden line are being subjected to speed restrictions from 11am each day until Friday.

Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service reminded people that “a stray cigarette, a discarded glass bottle, or a spark from a BBQ can all cause untold devastation”, and neighbouring Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue said it dealt with a number of grass and rubbish fires.

The Met Office’s heat-health watch alert is currently at level two, meaning social and healthcare services are at the ready to reduce harm from a potential heatwave.

Public Health England (PHE) has issued a warning saying the extreme heat may pose a risk to the most vulnerable.

PHE said the over-65s, young children and those with health conditions are the most vulnerable in hot weather, and encouraged people to look out for each other.

Dr Thomas Waite of PHE said: “It’s vitally important that we keep an eye on friends, family and neighbours who may be at risk, and chances are we’ll all know someone, if we’re all going to stay well this summer.”

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