Heat to last into the weekend for some
Author: Press Office
10:35 (UTC+1) on Tue 5 Sep 2023
Official heatwave criteria will be met for large parts of southern UK this week, with temperatures likely to remain high into the weekend for much of England and Wales.
Temperatures will remain very high for much of the UK over the next few days, likely peaking during the period Wednesday to Saturday with 32 to 33°C likely across parts of the south and southeast, though there’s an increasing signal for a thundery breakdown for some.
There’s a chance the highest temperature of the year so far of 32.2°C on 10 June could be exceeded this week, most likely in the southeast where one or two places could see 33°C.
Met Office Chief Meteorologist Paul Gundersen said: “High pressure is situated to the southeast of the UK, which is bringing more settled conditions and temperatures well above average for the time of year. While the highest temperatures are expected in the south, heatwave conditions are likely across much of England and Wales especially, with parts of Scotland and Northern Ireland also likely to see some unseasonably high temperatures.
“An active tropical cyclone season in the North Atlantic has helped to amplify the pattern across the North Atlantic, pushing the jet stream well to the north of the UK, allowing some very warm air to be drawn north. It’s a marked contrast to the much of meteorological summer, when the UK was on the northern side of the jet stream with cooler air and more unsettled weather.”
The exception to the largely very warm conditions this week is along some North Sea coasts, which will see some low cloud at times. There’s also a chance of some isolated thunderstorms affecting western areas over the next couple of days and nights, though this is unlikely to be very widespread.
In addition to high daytime temperatures, which has already seen official heatwave conditions observed since Tuesday in some spots, it will remain uncomfortably warm overnight, especially in the south, with a chance of tropical nights, which is when overnight temperatures remain in excess of 20°C.
The highest overnight minimum temperature for September on record is 21.7°C, and this record could be threatened on Wednesday and Thursday nights in particular.
As our climate changes due to human influences, hot spells like this are becoming more frequent and severe. By 2070, the chance of exceeding 30°C for two days or more throughout the year increases. Projections show that over southern parts of the UK exceeding 30°C for two days or more becomes sixteen times more frequent than it is today.
Heat Health Alert
The UK Health Security Agency, which provides alerts for the health and social care sector in England, has issued an Amber Heat Health Alert which highlights increased risks to those more vulnerable to heat.
The Met Office has not issued an Extreme Heat Warning, which covers the UK and aligns with the wider national severe weather warning service and looks at more widespread potential impacts for the public.
Help to protect the vulnerable people that you know including older people, those with underlying conditions and those who live alone; they may need support to keep cool and hydrated. For more advice click here.
Dr Justine Shotton, Senior Vice President or the British Veterinary Association, said: “We may be past the peak summer months but it’s important to remember that this September sun and heat is also dangerous for animals. Pets can be extremely susceptible to heat-related illnesses such as heatstroke, and can also suffer sunburn, heart conditions and breathing difficulties, many of which can sadly be fatal. Make sure all pets have access to fresh drinking water, good ventilation and shade from direct sunlight at all times.”
Thundery breakdown on the way
Many areas will remain very warm or hot until at least Saturday, with the heat becoming more confined to southeastern areas on Sunday and Monday. Temperatures could reach 33°C in the southeast of England on Saturday, before easing off on Sunday and Monday.
By the weekend there’s also an increasing chance of some intense thundery downpours developing, most likely in the west.
Met Office Deputy Chief Meteorologist Steven Keates said: “A cold front will begin to influence things from the northwest towards the weekend, though it’ll remain very warm or hot in the south.
"There’s a chance the thunderstorm risk to western areas from Friday onwards may require a warning response, with some potentially impactful downpours, though exact details on the likely positioning of these downpours are still being determined, and indeed many places may see little if any rain on Friday and Saturday.”
You can check the latest forecast on our website, by following us on Twitter and Facebook, as well as on our mobile app which is available for iPhone from the App store and for Android from the Google Play store. Keep track of current weather warnings on the weather warning page.
Updated at 11:54 (UTC+1) on Wed 6 Sep 2023