Atmospheric scientist Dr Simon Lee said on Thursday (21 July) that roasting temperatures were already appearing again in weather forecast models, but did note that another heatwave is not guaranteed.
Dr Lee tweeted: “40°C in the UK once again appearing in more than one GEFS forecast for early August.”
He added: “Recall this is not something which had been seen in medium-range forecasts until June 30th this year. But, it is possible that this model's hot & dry bias is exaggerating the true potential.”
40°C in the UK once again appearing in more than one GEFS forecast for early August 😵💫 Recall this is not something which had been seen in medium-range forecasts until June 30th this year. But, it is possible that this model's hot & dry bias is exaggerating the true potential. 🧵 pic.twitter.com/bTOEn13lW2— Dr Simon Lee (@SimonLeeWx) July 21, 2022
Grahame Madge, a Met Office spokesman, told LADbible: "While intense heat resides further south in Europe, there is a possibility that further plumes of hotter air could again bring high temperatures to the UK.
"Our main forecasting window extends towards the end of July, so early August is too far out to have confidence in the output from a limited number of forecast runs. There is still a spread of outcomes in the models which will be reduced the nearer we get to the event period.”
During Tuesday’s (19 July) heatwave, the UK recorded its highest temperature on record, with mercury hitting 40.2°C at Heathrow airport, surpassing the previous record of 38.7ºC set in Cambridge in 2019.
Scientists at the Met Office have warned such temperatures 'could be as much as 10 times more likely in the current climate than under a natural climate unaffected by human influence'.
Professor Penelope Endersby, chief executive of the Met Office, said the British public should take heat warnings as seriously as those about other significant weather events as the extreme heat could cause thousands of excess deaths.
She told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "Our warnings are always impact-based, so, when we put out warnings, if they're red, that means there’s a danger to life and we're expecting major infrastructure impacts, and that’s true, whether it's snow, wind, rain, and it's true of this heat warning.
"We're certainly seeing people reacting a little bit differently to the heat warnings as though they think that maybe we shouldn't be telling them to worry about heat the way we tell them to worry about storm or wind."
She added: "These temperatures are unprecedented in the UK and we're not used to dealing with them. And heat undoubtedly causes many hundreds, thousands of excess deaths in heatwaves, so people do need to take care and follow the advice we've been putting out about keeping in the shade, keeping cool, keeping hydrated, and so on."
As a result of this week’s heatwave, devastating wildfires tore through homes across England while destroying the local landscape, with major fire incidents being declared in London, Norfolk, Suffolk, Lincolnshire, Leicestershire and South Yorkshire amid the tinder-dry conditions.
Sadiq Khan said the London Fire Brigade (LFB) had received more than 2,600 calls throughout the day – seven times the usual number.
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