Thursday was the hottest day of the year so far but Friday will be hotter

It was cooler on the coast at Sea Palling in Norfolk but not by much. Credit: Jo Clarke

Temperatures in the Anglia region peaked at 34°C (93°F) on Thursday and are set to get close to record-breaking highs on Friday.

The hottest places in the Anglia region at official weather stations on Thursday 26 July were Bedford, Marham in Norfolk and Sawtry in Cambridgeshire where it was 33.8°C (92.8°F). The hottest place in the UK was Wisley in Surrey where the thermometer rose to 35.1°C (95.2°F) making it among the top twenty hottest days the country has seen in the past 60 years.

However a weather station at Ely in Cambridgeshire recorded a temperature of 35.0°C, which was close to its record of 36.2°C from August 2003. There has been no rain there for 46 days, since 9th June beating previous record of 32 days in 2009.

The weather station at the Brooms Barn agricultural research station near Bury St Edmunds has now had 52 days without rain.

Sunset on Thursday at the Lee Valley Park on the Essex-Hertfordshire border. Credit: Ann Boorman

The UK July record maximum temperature stands at 36.7°C (98.1°F) recorded at Heathrow airport on 1 July 2015. The all-time temperature record in the United Kingdom is 38.5°C (101.3°F) set at Faversham in Kent on 10th August 2003.

The Met Office estimates that there is 70% chance the July record will be broken on Friday and a 30% that the all-time recorded will be exceeded.

A stunning end to the day at Bocking near Braintree in Essex. Credit: Waldo Ferris

Maximum temperatures in the Anglia region on Thursday 26 July 2018

  • 33.8°C in Bedford

  • 33.8°C at Monks Wood near Sawtry, Cambridgeshire

  • 33.8°C in Marham, Norfolk

  • 33.5°C in Cambridge

  • 33.5°C in Santon Downham, Norfolk

  • 33.4°C in Wittering, Cambridgeshire

  • 33.4°C in Writtle, Essex

  • 33.3°C in Cavendish, Suffolk

  • 33.1°C at Brooms Barn in Higham near Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk

  • 33.1°C in Holbeach, Lincolnshire

  • 33.1°C in Woburn, Bedfordshire

A double rainbow as the first rain in more than a month falls in Cambridgeshire. Credit: Chris Mitchell
  • 32.7°C in Houghton, Norfolk

  • 32.7°C in Stowe, Buckinghamshire

  • 32.6°C in Harpenden, Hertfordshire

  • 32.4°C in Andrewsfield near Braintree, Essex

  • 32.3°C in Tibenham, Norfolk

  • 31.6°C in Wattisham, Suffolk

  • 31.1°C in Charsfield, Suffolk

  • 30.9°C in Weybourne, Norfolk

  • 30.3°C in Southend-on-Sea, Essex

  • 28.1°C in Shoeburyness, Essex

  • 25.9°C in Cromer, Norfolk

The moon over Clacton-on-Sea in Essex on Thursday night. Credit: Craig Williams

The heatwave and clear weather may mean some areas get a good view of a total eclipse of the moon on Friday 27 July although cloud and thunderstorms are forecast for some places.

It the first such lunar eclipse since 2011 and will be the longest of the 21st century with totality lasting more than 100 minutes.

The lunar eclipse is when sun, Earth and moon are in alignment and the moon passes through the shadow of the Earth. It turns the moon a deep red colour.

The time of the maximum eclipse in the Anglia region is from about 9.20 pm until 10.15pm on Friday.

Sandcastles on the beach at Frinton-on-Sea in Essex. Credit: Craig Williams

Rain was recorded in Cambridge for the first time in over a month on Thursday.

Cambridge University's weather station reported rainfall of 2.3 mm between 3.30 and 4pm on Thursday. It is the first rain to be measured by the station since June 12 - a period of 43 days.

The station is based on the roof of the university's computer laboratory in the west of the city.

More thunderstorms are forecast for Friday afternoon and evening in some parts of the Anglia region.