The heatwave has set a new record for the highest temperature ever recorded in Reading.

The University of Reading’s Atmospheric Observatory recorded 37.6C, the hottest since records began in 1908.

The mercury is still rising, beating the last record– 36.4C August 10, 2003 – hours before the hottest part of the afternoon.

“It’s a tremendous change. Honestly, I’ve been doing meteorology for 50 years and I never ever though I would see a temperature of 37," said Dr Stephen Burt, a climate scientist at the meteorology department at the University of Reading.

“Think about the water supplies. We’ve had almost no rain this month, if we had a month like this every summer, we’d have no water in the summer.”

The author of 100 years of Reading Weather continued:  “In climate change terms half a degree is pretty significant.

“35C was a once in a 50 year summer. Extremely rare. The sort of thing you’d have once in a lifetime. I remember when I was doing climate stats in the Met Office 40 years ago, looking at temperatures of 35C and wondering ‘I wonder what that’s like?’"

Reading Chronicle:

“I’ve seen some comments in the press in the last few days: ‘well it was like this in 1976, it was hotter than this’ - it wasn’t."

The highest recorded temperature in 1976 was 34C on June 26. Reading has only ever recorded temperatures of 36C or more three times before today: 1911, 2003 and 2019

“I think there’s a lot of people that continue to doubt our climate is warming and it’s some kind of global conspiracy, but there are tens of thousands of weather records across the world that confirm the climate is warming.

“The extremes are getting more and more frequent.”

The record for the hottest day in the history of the UK has also been broken, with 39.1C at Charlwood, Surrey, though the Met Office expects 41C to be hit by the end of the day.

“It’s very very big marker, 40C. It is difficult to convey it adequately. It’s a huge, big, red threshold that we’ve crossed," said Dr Burt.