UK expects to record hottest day on record, with red warning of extreme heat for Monday and Tuesday

The UK is bracing for the hottest day in history, with a chance the temperature could hit 40 degrees Celsius for the first time.

The first in the country red warning for extreme heat is published by the Met Office, the British version of the BOM.

This has led to health warnings and many have wondered what role climate change is playing in the extreme weather.

How hot will it get?

The red alert has been issued for Monday and Tuesday for parts of central, northern, eastern and southeastern England.

Models show there is a 50 per cent chance of maximum temperatures above 40C in isolated parts of the UK.

London is expected to reach 36°C on Monday and 38°C on Tuesday.

Highs of 36C and 37C are expected in Manchester on Monday and Tuesday respectively.

In Birmingham the mercury will reach 37C on both Monday and Tuesday, while a high of 34C is expected in Liverpool on both days.

In Leeds it is expected that it will be 36°C on Monday and 39°C on Tuesday.

In comparison: Monday the temperature will rise to 37C in Rome, and Athens expect a high of 30C on Monday and just 27C on Tuesday.


Currently the highest temperature recorded in the UK is 38.7C, reached at Cambridge Botanical Garden on July 25, 2019.

The Met says there is an 80 percent chance the temperature will be exceeded this week.

The heat wave is caused by a “jetstream vortex” sending a plume of hot air over the UK.

Temperatures are expected to drop from Wednesday.

How does this compare to last summer in Australia?

Hearing the Brits talk about their latest heatwave can make it easy to allay their worries.

So how does the forecast compare to temperatures across Australia last summer?

The temperature peaked at 44.5C on February 5 in Perthwhile in Adelaide it reached 41.3C at Parafield Airport on January 11.

The last day of 2021 was the hottest in Melbourne with a peak of 39.6C recorded at Laverton RAAF, base, while Sydney’s hottest day was December 18 when it reached 38.9C.

Brisbane’s temperature peaked at 37.9C on February 1 and canberra reached 33.5C on January 2nd.

What are the British doing to beat the heat?

To stay cool during the heat wave, people are told to:

  • Close curtains in rooms facing the sun
  • Drink water and avoid excessive alcohol consumption
  • Never leave anyone in a car, especially babies, children and animals
  • Stay out of the sun between 11am and 3pm when UV is high
  • Walk in the shade, use sunscreen and wear a hat
  • Beware of people who struggle to keep themselves cool and hydrated
  • Checking in with people who live alone

The “a little warm weather never hurt anyone” mentality is being debunked by the UK Health Security Agency.

The agency has issued a level 4 heat warning for Monday and Tuesday.

At this level, illness can occur in fit and healthy people, and not just in high-risk groups.

According to the agency, there were nearly 1,000 additional deaths in the UK last summer during an eight-day Level 3 heat warning.

Due to the extreme heat, Transport for London has advised passengers to use the service only on essential journeys.

Railway lines are regularly checked to ensure they are not at risk of bending or kinking, and trains will be placed under temporary speed limits for safety if necessary.

Does climate change make extreme temperatures more likely?

Temperatures of 40C could be 10 times more likely in the current climate than in a natural climate unaffected by humans, according to the Met Office.

With Office scientist Dr. Nikos Christidis says the chances of crossing 40°C every year anywhere in the UK are “rapidly increasing”.

“We were hoping we wouldn’t get into this situation, but for the first time ever we predict over 40C in the UK,” he said.

A recent Met Office study found that summers with days above 40C somewhere in the UK currently only occur every 100 to 300 years.

“Even with current emissions reduction commitments, such extremes could happen every 15 years in the 2100 climate,” said Dr. Christidis.

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