Jul 25, 2023, 09:39
This summer has seen cooler temperatures and more rain. Photo: Getty
The Bureau of Meteorology has warned that temperatures over 40C are getting higher in the UK due to climate change.
It comes as the Bureau of Meteorology prepares to release its 2022 UK climate report, which saw temperatures exceed 40 degrees for the first time ever and record heat-related deaths.
Extreme temperatures and heat waves hit different parts of the world this summer, including Europe, North America, North Africa and Asia.
Meanwhile, June 2023 was the world’s hottest month on record.
Climate experts have warned that the 40C heatwave witnessed last year would be impossible without climate change and the UK is ill-prepared for the increasingly likely extreme weather events.
A dry, brown, parched grass landscape in Brockwell Park during the 2022 UK drought. Photo: Getty
Met Office’s Oli Claydon said the 40C milestone is still considered an “extreme weather event” but will become more and more likely in the UK over the next few years.
“It is clear that the current climate in the UK can reach 40 degrees Celsius, as seen by several stations in July of last year,” he said.
“Human-induced climate change is increasing the likelihood of exceeding that in the future somewhere in the UK in any given year,” added Mr Claydon.
“So, as well as the need to mitigate future climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions, we are already experiencing the impacts of climate change, so we already need to adapt to the types of extreme weather we see in the UK.”
Read more: Brits are finally getting some sun after a lost weekend and much of the country has been hit by wet weather.
Read more: When will the warm weather return to the UK? The Met Office releases new forecasts for August.
While there are warnings that extreme temperatures will be more frequent in the UK in coming years, this summer has been unusually wet with cooler temperatures and less sunlight in many places.
The Bureau of Meteorology described “background warming of the global atmosphere due to human-induced climate change” after Britain experienced its hottest June on record.
However, high temperatures in Europe this month are warming due to conditions nestling beneath the upper ridges that stretch across the continent.
There are also “unusually high” surface ocean temperatures, exacerbating the effects of heat waves.
But the southward movement of the jet stream, which pushed the high pressure southward across the region, brought a system of low pressure into the UK, bringing more unstable and cooler weather, according to the Bureau of Meteorology.
How will the rest of summer go? Will we get a heat wave? Photo: Getty
The Bureau of Meteorology defines heat waves as “a prolonged period of warmer weather compared to conditions expected for the area throughout the year that may be accompanied by high humidity.”
In the UK, a heat wave threshold is met “when a location records a period of 3 or more consecutive days in which the daily maximum temperature meets or exceeds the heat wave temperature threshold”.
The Met Office’s long-term forecast for the rest of the summer suggests no heatwave.
“Conditions at the end of July are still expected to be unstable and this topic is likely to continue into early August.
“Wide showers are likely across the UK throughout the season, with the heaviest showers likely in the north, some of which may be accompanied by thunder.
“More persistent rain spells replacing some showers may also occur, especially in the western highlands.”
READ MORE: 30,000 Brits have been stranded over the holidays as wildfires in Rhodes have forced thousands to evacuate across the Greek island.
By mid-August, however, there are signs of “more stable conditions” with drier weather and more sunshine compared to previous weeks.
“Initial temperatures may be below average, but there is a possibility of average or above average rise in the second half of the month when conditions stabilize.”
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