UK's all-time temperature record broken

25 July 2019

On Thursday 25th July 2019 the UK's temperature record for July was broken, with 38.7 °C recorded at Cambridge Botanic Garden. The provisional value was released on Friday but was subject to quality control and analysis, and has now been validated by the Met Office observations’ team.  This figure exceeds the previous record of 38.5°C recorded in Faversham, Kent, in August 2003.  

(Note. Originally on Thursday, a temperature of 38.1 °C (100.6 °F) at Cambridge was announced as the highest temperature, which at the time was the second highest temperature on record for the UK and only the second time the UK has gone over 100 °F.) 

The recording was taken at the University of Cambridge Botanic Garden - which houses a Met Office climate observation site reporting every 24 hours – prompting Friday’s initial release. Some observation sites report monthly, so there is still a chance of even higher values being recorded. 

No overnight records were broken, but it was an exceptionally warm start to the day for some; Temperatures didn't fall below 20.9 °C in Achnagart overnight, breaking the Scottish record for highest minimum temperature.

Records were also broken in other European countries, where temperatures have been soaring this week. After the hottest June on record, several European countries hit new highs this week: Germany (42.6 °C), the Netherlands (40.7 °C) and Belgium (40.6 °C) all recorded new temperature records on Thursday.  According to the Met Office, Several sites including Paris, Edinburgh, Cambridge and Writtle also recorded their highest ever temperatures on Thursday.

In the UK, temperatures above 35 °C have occurred in nine years since the instrumental record began. They are listed below. Climate change has increased the likelihood and severity of heatwave episodes across Europe, which will have also increased the risks of a 40.0 C temperature event in the UK.

Read more about the extreme heatwave and links to climate change in theWeather Club article >>


Years with temperatures above 35C