The Met Office has advised people to enforce “substantial changes in working practices and daily routines” next week
You can read the warning here: https://www.metoffice.gov.uk/weather/warnings-and-advice/uk-warnings#?date=2022-07-18
The Met Office has issued its first ever red warning for extreme heat, as it warned of a “potentially very serious situation” next week with temperatures set to hit 40C.
Forecasters expect “an exceptional hot spell” in parts of north, central and south east England on Monday and Tuesday, which the Met Office warned could lead to “widespread impacts on people and infrastructure”.
It is the first time the Met Office has forecast temperatures of 40C in the UK, which would surpass the current record of 38.7C, recorded in Cambridge on 25 July in 2019.
Grahame Madge, a spokesperson for the Met Office, said: “We’ve just issued a red warning for extreme heat for Monday and Tuesday which is the first such warning ever issued.
“The warning covers an area from London up to Manchester and then up to the Vale of York. This is potentially a very serious situation.”
He said computer modelling had been “firming up around just how intense the heat will be for Monday and Tuesday, with the emphasis on Tuesday”.
“It’s now considered 80 per cent chance we will see the all-time UK record broken,” Mr Madge added.
“There’s stronger indications now of 50 per cent chance of seeing 40C being observed somewhere in the UK, and most likely that would be within the red warning area for extreme heat.
“Probably the most likely areas to look at would be north of London and up to Lincolnshire, inland. Somewhere like Peterborough, Grantham, Sandy, Stevenage, those sorts of areas, A1 corridor.”
He said temperatures reaching 40C would be “historic”. “If we get to 40C, that’s a very iconic threshold and shows that climate change is with us now,” he said.
“This is made much more likely because of climate change.”
The Met Office said “population-wide adverse health effects” are expected, adding that soaring temperatures could present a danger to life.
The UK Health Security Agency has increased its heat health warning from level three to level four – a “national emergency”.
Level four is reached “when a heatwave is so severe and/or prolonged that its effects extend outside the health and social care system…. At this level, illness and death may occur among the fit and healthy, and not just in high-risk groups”.
The Met Office has advised people to enforce “substantial changes in working practices and daily routines” next week.
The heatwave is expected to cause severe delays on roads as people flock to beaches, lakes and rivers to cool off.