UK heatwave 2022: Peterborough narrowly avoids 40 degree milestone as Wittering temperature teeters on 39.9C

Record temperature recorded at nearest Met Office weather station to Peterborough city centre

By Stephen Briggs
Wednesday, 20th July 2022, 11:03 am
Updated Wednesday, 20th July 2022, 3:15 pm

The temperature may not have quite officially reached the 40C milestone in Peterborough – although it came as close as it could without doing so – but Peterborough baked in record breaking temperatures yesterday.

While some thermometers in Peterborough did see numbers that broke through the 40C barrier, the highest temperature recorded at the Met Offices’ Wittering weather station – the nearest one to Peterborough – was a scorching 39.9C, recorded at 3.37pm yesterday.

The previous record was ‘just’ 36.7C, recorded on July 25 2019.

Ernest Mensah-Sekyere with a digital thermometer reading 40 degrees in direct sunlight at Cathedral Square - however, the Met Office's official readings did not reach 40C at their nearest weather station to Peterborough.

It was a record breaking day across the country, with the highest ever temperature in England and Wales recorded.

Cooler conditions are now forecast over the next few days.

The hot weather cause issues for services and residents across Peterborough.

There was severe disruption on the trains during the heatwave, meaning the normally busy transport hub was empty

Bin collections in some areas of Peterborough were postponed on Tuesday to ensure crews were kept safe, with the collections starting up again in today’s cooler conditions.

The city’s gritting lorries were filled with sand and kept on standby to deal with any melting roads on Monday and Tuesday – although they were not needed in the end.

Fire crews across Cambridgeshire were kept exceptionally busy, and there were periods on Tuesday when every single fire engine in the county was out on a call.

Some schools made the decision to close for the day – while others gave children the option to go home at lunch time, before the extreme afternoon heat arrived. Pupils were also given the option to wear PE kit instead of their normal full uniform, to help them cope with the heat.

Cooling off at Orton Mere one of the Proteus Canoe Club members.

The Severe Weather Emergency Provision – normally only activated in the winter – was put into force by the city council, making emergency accommodation available for rough sleepers in the city on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday.

Phil Walmsley, Chief Operating Officer at North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust, which runs Peterborough City, Hinchingbrooke and Stamford and Rutland Hospitals, said: “When a national heatwave alert is declared by The Met Office, our Trust activates

the Heatwave Policy in order to help our staff manage in the high temperatures, as well as keep our patients as comfortable as possible.

Firefighters put out field fire off Gidding Road, Sawtry

“We saw an increase in people presenting with dehydration over the last few days, and although we are now out of the level 4 heat wave, we would urge everyone to ensure that they continue to exercise caution and act accordingly to the outside weather during the summer months.

“Our hospitals remain extremely busy and we are seeing an increased demand for our services overall, especially within the emergency department. If you require healthcare services but it is not an emergency, then please call NHS 111 for advice on where best to seek treatment.

“I would like to say a huge thank you to every member of staff for the way they’ve risen to the challenge and worked through uncomfortable weather conditions to continue providing care to our patients.”

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