Highest Temperature in the UK
The highest temperature ever recorded in the UK is 40.3 degrees Celsius (104.5 degrees Fahrenheit) measured on July 19, 2022 at Coningsby, Lincolnshire, a village in East Midlands. During mid July 2022 England, Wales and Scotland experienced hot weather like never before. This was the first time since weather records began that temperatures topped 40 °C in the UK.
Several weather stations reported highs above 40 °C during the July 2022 heat wave. Dozens more topped the previous highest temperature ever recorded in the United Kingdom.
The extreme heat wave was so widespread that it broke records in not just in England, but also for Wales and Scotland. On July 18, 2022 a new record high for Wales was set of 37.1 °C (98.8 °F) at Hawarden Airport, Flintshire. That toppled the Wales temperature record set at the same location on August 2, 1990 of 35.2 °C (95.4 °F).
Previous Hottest Temperatures in the UK
Prior to the 2022 heat wave, the highest temperatures officially recorded in the United Kingdom was 38.7 °C (101.7 °F) at Cambridge Botanic Garden on July 25, 2019.
The Cambridge high nudged past a 38.5 °C (101.3 °F) record set for the UK on August 10, 2003 at Brogdale, a hamlet near Faversham, Kent. The 2003 high temperature was the first time during modern weather monitoring that the UK topped 100 degrees Fahrenheit, and it did so at several places. The second highest temperature in 2003 was 38.1 °C (100.6 °F) which was measured at both the Kew Royal Botanic Gardens in London and at Gravesend-Broadness in Kent.
The August 2003 record high leapt above the previous UK record temperature of 37.1 °C (98.8 °F) set at Cheltenham on August 3, 1990. In fact, temperatures at over a dozen weather stations on August 10, 2003 beat the 1990 UK record.
Highest Temperature in Scotland
The heat wave of July 2022 extended far enough north to set a new record for Scotland's hottest day. Charterhall, Scottish Borders in Berwickshire county reached 34.8 °C (94.6 °F) on July 19, 2022. That topped the previous record for Scotland set in 2003 by almost 2 degrees Celsius.
The temperature on August 9, 2003 reached what was then a record high of 32.9 °C (91.2 °F) at Greycrook, in the Scottish Borders region.
Greycrook's high nudged past the Scottish record which had stood for 95 years, although it had been equalled several times. The hottest temperature previously in Scotland was 32.8 °C (91.0 °F), first officially recorded at Dumfries on July 2, 1908.
Heat Waves in Britain
Britain reaches its highest temperatures during summer heat waves that last several days. Recent extreme hot spells occurred in July 2022, August 2003, August 1990, and in June and July 1976.
For eight days in early August 2003, temperatures in the UK topped 32 °C (90 °F) and set new temperature highs for England and Scotland. The 1990 event achieved new records for Wales and England. The 1976 heat wave brought over two weeks with weather above 32 °C (90 °F).
Met Office. UK climate extremes.
Met Office, Press Office. Record high temperatures verified Jul 28, 2022
Met Office, Press Office. July 2019: a month in UK climate statistics Aug 1, 2019