On Monday and Tuesday, Britain’s weather forecaster issued its first-ever red “Extreme Heat” warning for portions of England as temperatures are expected to hit record highs, triggering a “national emergency” alert level.

Much of Europe is experiencing a heat wave, with temperatures reaching the mid-40s Celsius in some areas, and wildfires spreading over tinder-dry terrain in Portugal, Spain, France, and Croatia on Thursday. more info

On July 25, 2019, the hottest temperature ever recorded in the United Kingdom was 38.7 degrees Celsius (102 degrees Fahrenheit) at Cambridge University Botanic Garden. The Met Office has projected temperatures of 40 degrees Celsius for the first time in Britain.

“Exceptional, perhaps record-breaking temperatures are likely early next week,” Met Office Chief Meteorologist Paul Gundersen said, forecasting a 50 percent likelihood of temperatures above 40 degrees Celsius and an 80 percent chance of setting a new high temperature.

“Nights are also likely to be exceptionally warm, especially in urban areas,” he warned in a statement. “This is likely to lead to widespread impacts on people and infrastructure.”

In addition, the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) highlighted concerns.

For Monday and Tuesday, England has issued a Level 4 heat warning.

A Level 4 red warning is classified as a national emergency on the Met Office website and is used when a heatwave occurs “is so severe and/or long-lasting that its consequences transcend beyond the health and social care system At this level, disease and death may occur among fit and healthy people as well as high-risk populations.”

According to the Met Office, “substantial” modifications in working habits and daily routines would be necessary, and there was a high danger of failure of heat-sensitive systems and equipment, which might result in localised power, water, or mobile phone service outages.

“It’s harder to cope with these types of temperatures in the UK because we’re just not used to them,” Hannah Cloke, a climate expert at the University of Reading, told Reuters, referring to the country’s generally mild, damp climate.

“It’s about that lived experience of the heat and we don’t have the houses designed to keep cool, we don’t have air conditioning, and our infrastructure is not built for the heat at all.”

Source: Reuters

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