TEMPERATURES in the UK could be set to break 40C for the first time on record.

Forecasts have said that the south east of England and London could be in for the historic highs.

To date, temperatures in the UK have never been recorded to have hit 39C. The highest temperature on record, 38.7C, was reached at Cambridge Botanic Garden on July 25 2019.

BBC meteorologist Matt Taylor said forecasters expected “probably the first 40 degree day we have ever seen in the UK”.

He added on Twitter that he “never thought this would be possible so soon”.

He said the high temperatures could have “massive impacts to health, to travel as well, and also to potential power”.

“Much as you would with a big storm system coming this way, it’s probably best to make some plans now because there will be some impacts next week,” Taylor added.

He said the heatwave would be "massive, long-lasting, and extensive".

Forecasters are also anticipating what could be the highest night-time temperatures ever recorded in the UK, with spikes of as high as 25C.

The current UK record for a night-time temperature was set Brighton in August 1990 and sits at 23.9C.

Taylor wrote on Twitter: “To answer the "it’s summer!" brigade: 40C is NOT normal for the UK, 25C by night is NOT normal, UK infrastructure’s not built for it, Heatwaves are among the most dangerous of natural hazards, Heat records are becoming more frequent, 7 out of 10 hottest UK days have been since 2003.”

The Met Office has issued amber warnings of extreme heat for much of England from Sunday to Tuesday.

Following this warning, people are told to expect:

  • Population-wide adverse health effects, not limited to those most vulnerable to extreme heat, leading to potential serious illness or danger to life. Government advice is that 999 services should be used in emergencies only; seek advice from 111 if you need non-emergency health advice
  • Substantial changes in working practices and daily routines
  • Significantly more people are likely to visit coastal areas, lakes and rivers leading to increased risk of water safety incidents
  • Delays on roads and road closures are possible, along with delays and cancellations to rail and air travel, with potential for significant welfare issues for those who experience even moderate delays

The warning comes as a heatwave fuels wildfires across Europe, including in Portugal, France, Spain, and Turkey.

While Scotland is expected to miss out on record-breaking high temperatures, it will not escape the heatwave.

Temperatures north of the Border could break 30C. The Met Office said in 2018 that the highest temperature ever recorded in Scotland had become 33.2C, in Motherwell – breaking a record set back in 2003.