Wednesday, August 10

The United Kingdom launches a heat wave alert for the first time in its history


The United Kingdom has issued its first red alert for high temperatures, while recommendations on how to protect themselves from the heat are disseminated by the media and authorities in a country unaccustomed to extreme weather. Exceptional heat is expected to affect much of England early next week, with temperatures likely to reach 30C in some places and perhaps even as high as 40C, the Met Office said in a press release. It is the first time 40°C has been forecast in the UK.

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The Met Office’s chief meteorologist, Paul Gundersen, has said that “exceptional, perhaps record, temperatures are likely to be seen early next week across the red alert area on Monday, with a little more concentration to the east and north on Tuesday. There is currently a 50% chance that 40°C will be exceeded and an 80% chance that a new maximum temperature will be reached.”

“Nights are also likely to be exceptionally warm, especially in urban areas. This is likely to have a widespread impact on people and infrastructure. Therefore, it is important that people plan for the heat and consider changing their routines. This level of heat can have adverse health effects.”

The raising of the alert level to red parallels the raising of the current heat health alert to level 4 for England by the UK Health Security Agency. High pressures near the southern half of the UK, which have been responsible for this week’s warm weather, continue to bring mostly dry and clear weather for most.

record heat

It is the first time 40°C has been forecast in the UK. The current maximum temperature in the UK is 38.7°C, which was reached at the Cambridge Botanic Garden on July 25, 2019.

Weather forecast models are run numerous times to help us quantify the probability of a particular event occurring and estimate uncertainty, which is always present in weather forecasts to some degree. Some models now give a 50% chance that maximum temperatures will exceed 40C in isolated parts of the UK by the start of next week. The mid and high 30 degrees Celsius will be seen more widely, with an 80% chance that we will break the current record.

Starting in the middle of next week, temperatures are expected to return to near normal for the time of year, as cooler air moves across the country from the west.

Climate change

“We were hoping not to get to this situation, but for the first time over 40°C is forecast in the UK. In a recent study we found that the likelihood of extremely hot days in the UK has been increasing and will continue to increase over the course of the century, with the most extreme temperatures expected to be seen in the south east of England. spokesman.

“Climate change has already influenced the likelihood of extreme temperatures in the UK. The chances of seeing 40°C days could be up to 10 times more likely in today’s climate than under a natural climate unaffected by human influence. The probability of exceeding 40°C anywhere in the UK in any given year has also increased rapidly, and even with current promises of emission reductions, such extremes could take place every 15 years in the climate of the year 2100. ”.





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