Reports: Heat melts runway at UK’s largest air force base; residents cover windows with foil
LONDON - It was so hot in the United Kingdom on Monday that the runway at the country’s largest air force base "melted," according to a report.
Sky News reported that flights were halted at Royal Air Force Base Brize Norton in Oxfordshire because the "runway had melted." The report came as temperatures soared to 95 degrees at the base Monday afternoon.
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A tweet from the Ministry of Defence Press Office said that aircraft are using alternative airfields as part of a "long-established plan" to deal with extreme temperatures.
According to ASI, a company in the UK that sells products to maintain asphalt surfaces, the air base uses an asphalt runway. Binders in asphalt are known to liquefy during extreme heat, as was the case in Texas during a heat wave in late June.
Officials at London's Luton Airport said in a tweet that they are working to repair a defect in the runway resulting from the high temperatures. Operations have been paused in the meantime.
The U.K. Met Office issued the country’s first red alert for extreme heat last week ahead of the sizzling weather. It includes cities such as London, Cambridge, Leicester, Nottingham and Manchester.
Amber extreme heat alerts, the second-highest level on the country’s weather alert scale, stretch as far north as Perth and Edinburgh and as far south as Plymouth and Brighton.
Record high temperatures have already been reported in Wales, where Hawarden hit a provisionally high temperature of 99 degrees, according to the U.K. Met Office. If verified, it would be the highest temperature ever recorded in Wales.
Elsewhere, temperatures were also pushing 100 degrees in places likes Heathrow, Cambridge and Cavendish.
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Foiling the heat
The Daily Beast reported that some people have turned to aluminum foil to keep the heat at bay, showing pictures of the metal being placed over the windows of homes.
Parts of Hammersmith Bridge were wrapped in a silver insulation last week in preparation for the extreme heat. Officials said the 135-year-old bridge has had issues with heat-related fractures in the past.
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The worst is yet to come
While Monday was blazing hot in much of the country, Tuesday is expected to be even worse.
"Tuesday will be even hotter in many places because it’s going to be a very warm night with temperatures in some places holding up in the low to mid-20s (near 70 degrees Fahrenheit)," Aidan McGivern, a senior weather presenter at the U.K. Met Office, said in a video tweeted by the weather agency. "Looks likely to be the warmest night on record in the U.K."
The forecast calls for Tuesday’s high temperatures to climb into the upper 90s and low 100s across the country's southeastern part, with a high of 104 degrees forecast in London.
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