Hope you are keeping well.
As the Telegraph article below relates, today was the hottest day in June since 1976 – the year before I was born. It certainly felt it. Ironically, the peak was recorded at Heathrow, the location where you last set foot in the UK in 2011.
The heat this week has been oppressive and reminds me of when I worked in Japan: in the summer months, when walking to the station in the mornings, my shirt would be soaked through with sweat. Similar experiences in London this week.
I imagine that the weather is similarly oppressive in Hiroshima so hope that you are coping with it better than I would be.
It would be great to hear from you some time…
Barristers and judges were allowed to ditch their traditional gowns and wigs and school sent pupils home as Britain experience the hottest day for 40 years yesterday.
Temperatures soared above 34C as the UK saw its hottest June day since 1976, the Met Office confirmed.
Heathrow in west London had recorded temperatures of 94.1F (34.5C) by 4pm, the highest for June since the 35.6C (96F) recorded in Southampton on June 28 1976.
Sweltering temperatures inside Croydon Crown Court forced Judge Deborah Charles to allow counsel to leave their heavy black gowns and horse-hair wigs to one side as they addressed a jury in the opening of a case.
Andover Church of England Primary School, Hants, closed its doors at 11.30am yesterday morning because of the increased heat.
Wednesday saw the hottest summer solstice on record as temperatures rose above 86F (30C) for the fifth consecutive day in a row.
But the hottest prolonged spell in June since the drought summer of 1976 is set to come to an end, as a cold front swept across the UK overnightt
There are also weather warnings in place for Wednesday afternoon and evening, with heavy rain and thunderstorms forecast for parts of southern Scotland, northern England, north Wales and the Midlands.
The Met Office warned of the potential for torrential downpours, frequent lightning, very large hailstones and strong gusts of wind, which could lead to localised flooding and temporary disruption of power supplies.
Chief meteorologist Steve Willington said: “The high pressure that has dominated our weather of late is starting to move away, allowing fresher air in from the west.
“A cold front that will pass through the UK will mark an end to the hot spell of weather in the south and bring cloudier skies and lower temperatures.”
The sweltering temperatures have seen “unprecedented demand” for ambulance services in London, with people fainting, collapsing and becoming unconscious in the heat.
Patients calling for non-emergencies are likely to wait four hours for an ambulance, London Ambulance Service warned.
On Monday, London Ambulance Service call handlers answered 6,613 emergency calls, compared with 4,695 the week before – a 41 per cent increase – and the service warned this was expected to continue while the heatwave lasted.
Peter McKenna, deputy director of operations, said: “Our crews are extremely busy.
“On Monday we attended 20 per cent more seriously ill and injured patients than the same day last week and we’ve also been involved in a number of high-profile major incidents.”
Medical director Dr Fenella Wrigley said: “We see an increase in calls because people can forget to stay hydrated and the heat can exacerbate heart and breathing conditions.
“We are getting calls from people who do not need an ambulance – for minor sunburn, heat rash, hayfever.
“These can be dealt with by a pharmacist. If you call us for something minor, you may experience a long wait.”
Youngsters were urged not to go swimming in lakes, rivers and reservoirs during the hot weather, following the deaths of two teenagers in separate incidents.
A 16-year-old boy died at a reservoir in Rochdale, Greater Manchester, on Monday, while a 15-year-old boy died after going into a lake with friends in the Pelsall area of the Black Country, in the West Midlands, on Tuesday evening.
West Midlands Fire Service’s area commander Ben Brook, said: “We absolutely understand the temptation to swim, have fun and cool down during the heatwave, but we are asking people not to.
“It simply isn’t worth the risk nor the heartbreak for all involved when things go wrong.”
A pensioner also drowned off the Sussex coast on Monday.
Thousands of sun-worshippers witnessed a spectacular dawn as they gathered at Stonehenge for the summer solstice.
Approximately 13,000 people descended on the neolithic monument in Wiltshire to watch the sun rise at 4.52am – up from 12,000 last year.