England is being cooked by a lethal heatwave – literally, in the instance of one Royal Air Force facility, where the runway melted. Planes from the Brize Norton air base near London had to be redirected after the airfield was forced to close due to record high temperatures.
“During this period of extreme temperature flight safety remains the RAF’s top priority,” the RAF said in a Twitter statement, “so aircraft are using alternative airfields in line with a long-established plan. This means there is no impact on RAF operations.”
The issue of melting asphalt during the UK’s harsh heatwave, in which temperatures in the London metropolitan region have remained around 98-100 degrees Fahrenheit and are predicted to rise considerably higher, isn’t limited to the British military.
Road personnel were on standby in sections of England when surface temperatures reached 122 degrees Fahrenheit, leading the asphalt to turn into a “tacky and hazardous” pile of bubbling guck.
Despite the record-breaking heatwave, this isn’t the first time it’s grown hot enough in the UK to melt tarmac, something similar happened in 2006, when rock salt was needed to unstick the roadways. It’s hard to say whether it’s worse for cars or planes to have to deal with melting tarmac, but it’s certainly a mess either way.
Reference- BBC, SKY News, Futurism, RAF Twitter Handle