Amid one of the driest years on record, Britain is being urged to brace for scorching new temperatures this week as summer sees a second red flag raised over temperatures.
The UK Health Security Agency has issued a new heat wave warning, with a level 3 alert now in place for southern and central England, and level 2 in the north. Level 4 is the most severe designation and has already been used once in 2022.
Temperatures are expected to hit the 30s in areas where a Level 3 alert is in place, messages say, stopping ahead of July’s dramatic heat wave, which peaked above 40C in parts of the country. country.
Last month was also the driest July in England since 1935, with many areas recording the driest on record, raising serious concerns about the possibility of fires breaking out this week. Last month, a series of fires caused millions of pounds of damage due to weather conditions. The risk of serious fires breaking out across most of England and Wales is currently high, with a ‘severe’ level expected for large parts of England by the weekend.
The Met Office has now raised the thresholds that temperatures must reach for conditions to be considered a heat wave. This is due to the weather getting warmer across the UK. Outside England, Scotland and Northern Ireland are also expected to see thermometers above average seasonal highs, with temperatures in the low 20s forecast for Friday, meeting the criteria for a heat wave.
A group of British scientists recently called for heat waves to be named as part of a warning system to protect vulnerable people. Last month, parts of London narrowly avoided power cuts due to soaring temperatures.
Image credit: Lucien Dachman