United Kingdom issues first Red Extreme heat warning

gfs 850 hpa temperature anomaly july 18 2022 18z

For the first time ever, temperatures of 40 °C (104 °F) have been forecast in the United Kingdom for Monday and Tuesday, July 18 and 19, 2022. As a result, the UK Met Office has issued the first ever Red warning for exceptional heat. The current record high temperature in the UK is 38.7 °C (101.6 °F), set in Cambridge in 2019.

  • Exceptional heat is expected to affect a large part of England early next week, with temperatures likely in the high 30s °C in some places and perhaps even reaching 40 °C (104 °F) for the first time ever. 
  • The Red Extreme heat national severe weather warning will cover Monday and Tuesday, July 18 and 19, 2022 for parts of central, northern, eastern, and southeastern England.

An Amber Extreme heat warning has been in place for much of England and Wales for Sunday, Monday and Tuesday (July 17 – 19) since earlier this week. Today, July 15, the amber areas are also being extended to cover Cornwall, West Wales, and parts of southern Scotland.

“Exceptional, perhaps record-breaking temperatures are likely early next week, quite widely across the red warning area on Monday, and focussed a little more east and north on Tuesday,” said Paul Gundersen, Met Office Chief Meteorologist.

“Currently there is a 50% chance we could see temperatures top 40 °C (104 °F) and 80% we will see a new maximum temperature reached.

“Nights are also likely to be exceptionally warm, especially in urban areas. This is likely to lead to widespread impacts on people and infrastructure. Therefore, it is important people plan for the heat and consider changing their routines. This level of heat can have adverse health effects.”

The step up in warning level to red is running parallel to an increase in the current Heat Health Warning to Level 4 for England by the UK Health Security Agency.

The high pressure near the southern half of the UK, which has been responsible for this week’s warm weather, continues to dominate bringing largely dry and clear weather for most.

However, during the weekend, a developing southerly flow will allow very high temperatures currently building over the continent to start to spread northwards into the UK.

Further north, eastern areas of Scotland could see temperatures in the high 20 °C in a few places, well above their average for the time of year.

Some forecast models are now producing a 50% chance of maximum temperatures in excess of 40°C in isolated parts of the UK for the start of next week. Mid, to high, 30s Celsius will be seen more widely with an 80% chance we will exceed the current record.

Temperatures are expected to start to return closer to normal for the time of year from the middle of next week onwards as cooler air pushes across the country from the west.

The current record high temperature in the UK is 38.7 °C (101.6 °F), which was reached at Cambridge Botanic Garden on July 25, 2019.


1 The first Red Extreme heat warning issued – UK Met Office – July 15, 2022

Featured image credit: GFS, TropicalTidbits


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  1. It’s called summer. When it’s 100-degrees in January give me a call. Meanwhile, stop intentionally “confusing” climate change with weather. Tired of the BS. And censoring your comments because of legitimate opposing views is unconstitutional and committing a fraud.

  2. “. . . with an 80% chance we will exceed the current record.” And a 100-percent chance other records will be cherry picked.” This author has never heard of “weather.”

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