Met Office gives verdict on whether UK will hit 40C this summer as Europe bakes in Charon heatwave

18 July 2023, 13:29 | Updated: 18 July 2023, 13:42

Temperatures have remained lower in the UK than the rest of Europe
Temperatures have remained lower in the UK than the rest of Europe. Picture: Getty
Kieran Kelly

By Kieran Kelly

It is unlikely that the UK will reach 40C again this summer, despite sweltering heatwaves in Europe, the Met Office has said.

According the Met Office's Grahame Madge, there is "no forecast signal" for temperatures to hit 40C in the UK, though some heat may return towards the end of August.

"There is no forecast signal for temperatures to reach last year’s threshold this year," Mr Madge said.

"The chance of reaching 40C is around one per cent, so it is unlikely in any given year, but of course, it remains feasible."

The highest temperature ever recorded in the UK was 40.3C on Lincolnshire on July 19 last year. Before that, it was 38.7C in Cambridge in 2019.

The same forecast predicts the rest of July's weather will be a mixtures of sunny spells and showers, with the north and east of the country more likely to hit by rain.

Hot temperatures are a way off returning in the UK
Hot temperatures are a way off returning in the UK. Picture: Getty

Conditions will remain unsettled during the first couple of weeks of August, with intermittent sunny spells and periods of rain.

It's not until the end of the month that the weather will start to the settle down, though the possibility of very warm or hot conditions is "less likely" than usual, the forecast adds.

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That's despite the threat of record-breaking temperatures taking hold in the rest of Europe, where the Charon heatwave has just got underway.

The previous record temperature in Europe was 48.8C in Italy in 2021, though some experts believe this may be broken.

A number have countries have been ravaged by forest fires, including in Greece, Spain and Croatia.

It comes after the UK experienced its hottest June on record, which the Met Office put down to "the background warming of the Earth’s atmosphere due to human-induced climate change".

Tourists walk in central Rome during a heatwave on July 18
Tourists walk in central Rome during a heatwave on July 18. Picture: Getty

But this month, high temperatures in Europe are being driven by settled conditions under an upper ridge sat across the continent - pushing temperatures up.

There are also "unusually high" surface sea temperatures, exacerbating the effects of the heatwave.

But, according to the Met Office, the southern shift of the Jet Stream that has pushed the high pressure southwards across this region has also led to low pressure systems being directed into the UK, bringing more unsettled and cooler weather.

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