UK heatwave continues amid thunderstorm alerts and calls for rain

The United Kingdom is currently experiencing a heatwave, with temperatures reaching up to 28C in certain regions, according to the Met Office. A heatwave is classified as three consecutive days where daily maximum temperatures meet or exceed the heatwave temperature threshold. These thresholds differ by county, with the highest being 28C in and around London, and the lowest at 25C in Scotland, Northern Ireland, and northern England.

This comes as weather alerts for thunderstorms remain in place from 12pm to 9pm for Scotland and Northern Ireland, following heavy rain, hail, and lightning on Monday. Areas such as Leicester, Birmingham, Worcester, Gloucester, and Oxford were previously under an amber thunderstorm warning, with Liverpool and parts of the North West also affected. The Manchester City trophy parade was temporarily halted due to torrential rain after the club won the Treble on Saturday.

However, warm weather has returned to the UK, with highs of 28C expected around 4-5pm on Tuesday in both London and Manchester. London Mayor Sadiq Khan issued a high air pollution warning for the capital, the second of the year, due to high temperatures and pollution from the continent. He urged people to avoid unnecessary car journeys and opt for walking, cycling, or public transport instead.

With drier weather forecasted for the latter part of the week, Tony Juniper, chair of Natural England, called for a change in tone when discussing the hot and sunny spell, as the country “needs rain.” He tweeted, “Our rivers & wetlands are dying & wildlife fading away. We need RAIN. It is good. You can’t make the weather, but please stop saying global heating is a positive thing.”

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The West Cumbria Rivers Trust (WCRT) and the National Trust also warned of rivers in England’s wettest region running almost completely dry, creating “disastrous” conditions for wildlife such as fish. Over the weekend, temperatures reached 32C at Kew Gardens in southwest London, making the UK hotter than Monaco and the French Riviera, where temperatures were in the low 20s. This was just shy of this year’s record high of 32.2C, recorded on Saturday in Chertsey, Surrey.

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Jamie Cartwright

Jamie is a keen traveler, writer, and (English) teacher. A few years after finishing school in the East Mids, UK, he went traveling around South America and Asia. Several teaching and writing jobs, he found himself at The Thaiger where he mostly covers international news and events.

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