Today the Met Office observations team has received a new provisional figure of 38.7 Celsius from Cambridge University Botanic Garden.  The current highest temperature on record for the UK is 38.5 Celsius, recorded in Faversham in August 2003.

The temperature recorded yesterday at Cambridge University Botanic Garden will require quality control and analysis over the next few days and if validated, would become the highest temperature officially recorded in the UK.

Official temperatures yesterday (Thursday 25th) reached 38.1 Celsius in Cambridge, setting a new current record for the highest July temperature.

Dr Mark McCarthy from the National Climate Centre (NCIC) at the Met Office said:

“As the official source of meteorological statistics for the UK, we take the quality of our recordings very seriously.  We are talking about a potential new record for the highest temperature recorded in the UK and we therefore need to thoroughly investigate the observation with our partners at Cambridge University Botanic Garden through statistical analysis and by visiting, to check the site and equipment and ensure there are no potential problems.”

 “The Met Office observations team will carefully analyse this figure, along with any other readings submitted over the coming weeks and will keep the public, our partners and government updated."

For more on how the Met Office records and verifies temperatures, visit the Met Office blog.

Exceptionally high temperatures have gripped large parts of central and western Europe this week, with some countries including Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands seeing their highest national temperatures on record.

Heatwaves are extreme weather events, but research shows that with climate change they are likely to become more frequent. Met Office projections show that heatwaves with the intensity of last summer could occur on average as regularly as every other year by the middle of the century.