Britain recorded its warmest September day in more than 100 years on Tuesday with temperatures rising to over 34 degrees Celsius in the southern county of Kent.
The Met Office said on its Twitter page the town of Gravesend recorded a temperature of 34.4 degrees Celsius , making it the hottest day of the year. “This makes it the warmest September day since 1911,” it said.
London’s Heathrow airport and Kew Gardens recorded temperatures of 32.8 Celsius, The Met said earlier.
Londoners took to the city’s numerous parks to make the most of the sunshine while in the southern city of Brighton, swimmers headed to the beach.
At London Zoo, keepers sought to cool animals down from the heat, such as giving ice cubes packed with tasty morsels to the meerkats.
“They come from the Kalahari desert in southern Africa so it can get very warm during the day but they weren’t born in the Kalahari desert so they are quite acclimatised to the UK weather,” zookeeper Grant Kother said.
“So although they are quite hardy when it comes to warm weather, it is always nice to give them an option to cool down.”
Worldwide, this year is set to be the hottest since records began in the late 19th century, due to a build-up of man-made greenhouse gases and an El Nino event that has warmed the Pacific Ocean, the UN weather agency says.
And NASA said on Monday that last month was the warmest August on record. Last year, world leaders meeting in Paris agreed a sweeping plan to shift from fossil fuels this century to limit climate change.