Jul 15, 2022 - Science

U.K. issues first-ever Red warning for extreme heatwave

Pedestrians fill up a water bottle in June of this year as tepertarues reach 34 degrees Celsius (93.2 degrees Fahrenheit)
Pedestrians in the U.K. fill up a water bottle in June amid hot temperatures. Photo: Hollie Adams/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The United Kingdom's Met Office has issued its first-ever Red warning for extreme heat, it announced on Friday.

Driving the news: The unprecedented warning comes as Europe is in the grip of a record-breaking heatwave. Temperatures of 104°F (40°C) are forecast in the U.K. for the first time ever, topping a previous record of 101.66°F (38.7°C) from July of 2019, per the release.

State of play: The warning covers parts of central, northern, easter, and southeastern England next Monday and Tuesday.

  • The Red warning coincides with others concerning dangerous heat in other parts of the U.K., including much of England and Wales.

What they're saying: "The chances of seeing 40°C days in the U.K. could be as much as 10 times more likely in the current climate than under a natural climate unaffected by human influence," said Nikos Christidis, a climate attribution scientist at the Met Office, per the release

  • "The likelihood of exceeding 40°C anywhere in the U.K. in a given year has also been rapidly increasing, and, even with current pledges on emissions reductions, such extremes could be taking place every 15 years in the climate of 2100," Christidis added.

Go deeper: The health impacts of rising temperatures

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