Listen to English - Heatwave


When we have several days of very hot weather, we call it a heatwave.In Britain, we are having a heatwave at present. In fact, we are having record high temperatures. Yesterday, 19 July, was the hottest July day on record. The highest temperature (36.3 degrees C) was measured at a place called Charlwood which is near London Gatwick Airport.

Throughout the country, people have crowded into swimming pools or into the sea to keep cool. Respectable businessmen and civil servants have gone to work wearing shorts. In some places the tar on the roads has melted. And here in Birmingham, the heat has buckled railway lines just outside our main railway station, which has caused chaos.

Owners of ice cream vans have done a roaring trade. There was a different sort of roaring trade at Colchester Zoo. There, the keepers gave the lions blocks of ice flavoured with blood (ugh!) to keep them cool. (Look up "roaring trade" and "to roar" in a dictionary!)

Here are some of the words we might use to describe very hot weather: — hotscorchingblisteringswelteringbakinga heatwavelike an oven, like a furnace.

And if the weather is moist as well as hot, we can saysultrystickyhumid.

Do you know the expression "most like" and its opposite "least like"? Where would I most like to be in this hot weather? In my own private swimming pool, perhaps, with someone to bring me cold beers from time to time. And where would I least like to be? Easyin a queue at Gatwick Airport.