SUNSEEKERS have been loving the 30C+ weather for the past few weeks as a sizzling heatwave grips Britain.
And as forecasters are predicting a long hot summer with more heatwaves on the way, here is what you need to know about the sunny times ahead…
Rex Features Brits are making the most of the heatwave, soaking up the rays at the beach
When was the hottest day of the year?
Temperatures of 35C (90F) were recorded in Heathrow on Friday, July 27.
But as we brace ourselves for another round, the hottest day of the year could be this weekend as a blistering 50C Spanish plume sweeps in from the Continent.
Dramatic satellite images show the killer 50C Spanish plume blasting its way towards Britain as temperatures rocket to a “hellish” 50C in Portugal and 48C in Spain forecast on Saturday.
June was Britain’s hottest for over 40 years while last month was the hottest July in southern regions since records began, with an average daily temperature of 26.2C.
The scorching summer of 1976 was the hottest summer since records began.
It led to a severe drought owing to the exceptionally dry conditions, although it is thought that 1995 was drier.
In the summer of 1976, Heathrow had 16 consecutive days over 30C from June 23 to July 8, and for 15 consecutive days from June 23 to July 7 temperatures reached 32.2C somewhere in England.
But the single hottest temperature of 38.5C was set on August 10, 2003.
How many heatwaves will there be in 2018?
Forecasters predicted that there could be as many as eight heatwaves this summer.
AccuWeather meteorologist Jim Andrews said: “The UK is looking at a range of five to eight more spells which we would call heatwaves this summer.
“It would certainly be reasonable to expect 34C highs this summer. Heat will build in the UK this summer due to high pressure, the sun heating the land, and heat arriving from as far away as Spain.”
Apex News Aleksandra Vasileva and Georgia Beckley-Bowman cool down in the sea at Exmouth, Devon, during the current heatwave
What should you do during a heatwave?
When the mercury shoots up there are several obvious precautions to take.
It is advised to make sure you drink a lot of water to make sure you stay hydrated during the hot spell.
Keeping a bottle of sunscreen with you to soak up those UV rays is also highly advisable as is ensuring you have a hat to prevent sunstroke.
What is a heatwave and what happens during one?
The World Meteorological Organisation definition of a heatwave is “when the daily maximum temperature of more than five consecutive days exceeds the average maximum temperature by 5C, the normal period being 1961-1990”.
They are most common in summer when high pressure develops across an area.
High-pressure systems are slow-moving and can persist over an area for a prolonged period of time such as days or weeks.
They can occur in the UK due to the location of the jet stream, which is usually to the north of the UK in the summer.
This can allow high pressure to develop over the UK resulting in persistent dry and settled weather.
The recent heat caused train tracks to buckle, fires to rage through scorched moorland and people struggling to sleep at night.
PA:Press Association Firefighters battle the blaze at Tintwistle amid the heatwave
The heat posed a threat to life in the Peak District where crews were called out to battle wildfires/
Meanwhile, speed restrictions were imposed on some of Britain’s railways, including the line from London Waterloo to New Malden, over concern tracks would buckle.
Andy Thomas of Network Rail said the tracks in direct sunlight could sore to 20C above air temperature.
He said this causes the “steel to expand markedly,and could buckle, causing travel disruption”.
And a pavement in Kirkgate, Leith, warped and rose in temperatures of up to 24C.