Are early summer heatwaves becoming our new normal?
This week marks a significant heatwave for some of us - the first notable hot weather of the summer, and it’s only mid-June. It'll be the hottest spell since August 2020.
Spain and France have seen record breaking temperatures over 40C - and it’s this intense, unbearable heat that has extended northwards towards the UK and encouraged our soaring temperatures in the last few days.
Much of England and Wales will see temperatures close to 30C on Friday, with a staggering 34C in the south-east, together with blazing sunshine.
The UV levels are remarkably high this week too - with the sun at its strongest and peak altitude this time of year and the Summer Solstice just around the corner.
Even any hazy high cloud won’t make too much difference. Coastal areas will have a fresher sea breeze to counteract the relentless heat but the sun will still be severely strong.
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We will retain the heat after dark in urban spots leading to another warm, stuffy night.
Scotland and Northern Ireland will be missing out on this early (brief) burst of summer - but will be feeling so much more comfortable.
This heatwave developed particularly rapidly. It’ll be a short spike of searing heat - and by Sunday it’ll feel like a distant memory.
Decades ago, our heatwaves developed at a slower pace over a number of days and often peaked at just over 30C in August, towards the end of the summer.
Temperatures nearer 34-35C so early in the summer used to be unusual but this will be the third time June has topped 34C in the last six years.