UK’s weather forecaster has issued a red “Extreme Heat” warning, for parts of England on Monday and Tuesday when temperatures are forecast to reach record highs, triggering a “national emergency” alert level for the first time ever.
A large portion of Europe is sweltering in a heat wave that has caused some areas to experience temperatures in the mid-forties Celsius, and on Thursday, flames broke out across the tinder-dry nation in Portugal, Spain, France, and Croatia. The highest temperature ever recorded in Britain was 38.7C (102F), which was measured on July 25, 2019, in the Cambridge University Botanic Garden. For the first time ever, the Met Office said it was now predicting temperatures above 40C in Britain.
“Exceptional, perhaps record-breaking temperatures are likely early next week,” According to Met Office Chief Meteorologist Paul Gundersen, there is a 50% possibility that temperatures will rise over 40C and an 80% likelihood that a new record high temperature would be set.
Paul further added, “Nights are also likely to be exceptionally warm, especially in urban areas. This is likely to lead to widespread impacts on people and infrastructure.”
Additionally, England’s heat health warning was upgraded to Level 4 by Britain’s Health Security Agency (UKHSA) for Monday and Tuesday.
A Level 4 red alert, which is used when a heatwave is so severe and/or persistent that its impacts go beyond the health and social care system, is described as a national emergency on the Met Office website. At this point, not just high-risk groups but also fit and healthy people are susceptible to sickness and death.
The Met Office warned that “significant” adjustments would have to be made to daily routines and work procedures because of the high danger of heat-sensitive systems and equipment failure, which could cause a localised loss of power, water, or mobile phone services.
According to Hannah Cloke, a climate researcher at the University of Reading,”It’s harder to cope with these types of temperatures in the UK because we’re just not used to them.”