United Kingdom

Scorching 33C heatwave is so hot roads in England are ‘melting’ under the sun

The scorching heatwave is so hot that England’s roads are melting under the sun as councils scramble to fix the damage.

Brits have basked in temperatures as high as 32C in recent days as a scorching summer heatwave grips the nation.

It is so hot the Met Office has issued an extraordinary amber weather warning for ‘extreme heat’ which is in force until Thursday in England and Friday for Northern Ireland.

Wednesday will offer no let up for baking Brits and many areas will see the mercury soar past 30C, sparking some thunderstorms in places.

The temperature is so hot that the tar on some of the country’s roads has caused the highways to ‘melt like chocolate.’

Today will see blistering temperatures once again

In Gloucestershire emergency maintenance had to be carried out as part of the A38 was deemed unsafe. Grit was poured on top of the melted tar to solidify it and re-attach to surfaces.

Somerset County Council also say road surfaces across the county have begun to melt due to the scorching temperatures.

The local authority has deployed highways teams to treat the affected roads.

A post on Twitter from the council reads: “The blistering heat has caused some roads to melt (yes, melt). We are doing all we can to protect the roads.

A bather applies lotion
The Met Office has warned people to take care in the sun

“A sunny day in the 20Cs can be enough to generate 50C on the ground as the dark asphalt road surface absorbs a lot of heat and this builds up during the day with the hottest period between noon and 5pm.

“When this occurs, we send out a team to spread granite dust to absorb the soft bitumen and so stabilise the road surface.

“The road network has 5 per cent of ‘polymer modified binders in hot rolled asphalt’ roads. These can absorb up to 80C. But these are more expensive.

People enjoy the weather on Bournemouth beach
The heatwave comes as many restrictions in England are lifted

“It is particularly problematic in countries that experience the two extremes of weather.

“Think of the asphalt like chocolate – it melts and softens when it’s hot and goes hard and brittle when it’s cold. As a result, it doesn’t maintain the same strength all year round.

“We will continue to monitor the situation over the next few days.”

UK Weather Forecast

Today:

Very hot and sunny for many, with a few thunderstorms in the east during the afternoon. Cloudier start in the north and northeast though breaking up during the morning. The far north staying cloudier with a little drizzle possible.

Tonight:

Another very warm and uncomfortable night over much of the UK. Cloud in the far north spreading back across eastern Scotland and into northeast England – cooler here.

Thursday:

Another hot and sunny day for most with cloud clearing much of the north, the far north staying cloudier. Perhaps a few showers developing in central parts by day.


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