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11th Aug 2022

Map shows UK covered in yellow as Met Office warns of ‘scary’ heatwave

April Curtin

‘The scarred landscape of the climate crisis is clear to see’

Worrying satellite images show how parts of the UK have turned a desert-like yellow, as weather experts warn it reveals the severe impacts of climate change.

Brits began their battle against yet another heatwave which hit the UK on Thursday – and it’s forecast to last even longer than the one we experienced in July.

An amber weather warning for extreme heat has been issued by Met Office, which covers much of the southern half of England as well as parts of eastern Wales. Highs of 35C are forecast on Friday and Saturday.

The warning will be in force until the end of Sunday and is expected to impact “health, transport and infrastructure,” Met Office said.

Thankfully, temperatures are unlikely to get quite as hot this time round, but Met Office meteorologist Tom Morgan said the heat will still be “very notable nonetheless”.

And images shared by weather experts on social media show the worrying impact recent temperatures have already had on the UK.

James Cheshire, professor of Geographic Information and Cartography at University College London, posted one of the satellite images on Twitter on Wednesday, which showed how dry areas of UK land have become.

Writing in his blog, he admitted he’s been “obsessively checking” satellite images and has witnessed the UK turn from green to yellow, “thanks to the period of extreme heat and lack of rain Europe has been enduring.”

He said: “The parched landscape is unlike anything I’ve seen before and a cloud free day today (10th August) has revealed the true extent of the drought.

“It shows with extraordinary clarity where the UK gets the most rain (and where some has fallen) thanks to being more to the west or at higher elevations.”

While some sceptics tried to argue that crops go yellow as they approach harvest time, Cheshire hit back, explaining how we’ve just had the driest July since 1935 and that the countryside is suffering the consequences.

Posting on Twitter, the expert warned: “The scarred landscape of the climate crisis is clear to see from today’s extraordinary satellite image.”

Cheshire isn’t the only weather expert who has serious concerns about the extreme heat. Met Office boss Paul Davies has warned that the UK is entering into scary, uncharted waters as the next heatwave approaches, with concern that wildfires will be common over the next few weeks.

Scorching 43C temperatures in July saw a national emergency declared when fires broke out across London. Davies fears that the UK’s heatwaves could hit annually by the end of the century.

Speaking to Metro, he said: “When I started out as a ­forecaster, if someone had said in your lifetime you’ll see 40°C I’d have said, ‘No, surely not!’

“We are in uncharted waters. We’re entering areas we’ve never experienced before and it’s not just the UK, it’s the planet as a whole.”

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