UK weather: Britain bracing for tropical blast with record temperatures of 40C as mini-heatwave set to hit in weeks
Published: 18/04/2023- 17:11
Britain is set for a summer season even hotter than last year's record-breaking temperatures with tropical conditions of 40C, an expert has claimed.
A mini-heatwave is set to sweep the UK with forecasters predicting temperatures above the 20C mark in just a matter of weeks.
The El Niño weather phenomenon, a warming of the ocean surface in the central and eastern tropical Pacific Ocean, could be a major factor in pushing temperatures above 40C this summer.
In 2022, conditions resulted in more than 800 fire incidents across the country and official droughts declared due to low-water levels.
A mini-heatwave is set to sweep the UK with forecasters predicting temperatures above the 20C mark
The same phenomenon is predicted to be particularly powerful again in summer 2023, which would likely lead to scorching temperatures in the UK once again.
Combined with global warming and high pressure, forecasters warn of "extreme heat" during the mid-summer.
"It will take time to build for us, we’re talking maybe mid-summer – it won’t be an overnight sensation," Jim Dale from British Weather Services told The Daily Star.
"What we’ve got to have in place for that extreme heat to happen is climate change, that’s still happening, and El Nino. Then for the UK to join it, it’s the right synoptic situation.
"Changes in atmospheric pressure causing heat spikes. You get into that scenario and we’re very capable in terms of climate change of getting back up to 40C in July, August, maybe early September."
The weather event sees warm currents circulate off the coast of Peru, Ecuador and the Eastern Pacific, which makes California and southern Europe baking hot and causes floods in southeast Asia.
Last year, the abnormally hot weather meant weather warnings for heat were put in place across the country and lead to pressure on the NHS and disruptions for commuters using public transport.
At the time, the Met Office said: "For the first time ever, 40 Celsius has provisionally been exceeded in the UK. London Heathrow reported a temperature of 40.2C at 12.50pm today.
"Temperatures are still climbing in many places, so remember to stay WeatherAware."
The El Niño weather phenomenon could be a major factor in pushing temperatures above 40C this summer
Britain is set to bask in warm weather in the days leading up to the King's Coronation as a humid plume of air arrives from Spain and France.
The Met Office said: "Temperatures likely rather warm to warm towards the end of the month, especially in the west and northwest."
Weather forecaster John Kettley told GB News: "The sunshine is never guaranteed, but the higher temperatures for some of us is guaranteed in the next two or three days."
"In some places in the west and the north temperatures are already up to 18 and 19 degrees," he added.