As temperatures have continued to soar, the UK Meteorological (Met) Office issued the first-ever red extreme heat warning for areas of England, including London. Temperatures could reach 40 degrees Celsius, and a red warning, the maximum level used by the Met Office under its alert system, indicates a risk to life is possible. The unusual warning, which is categorised as a national emergency, signifies that life is in danger for people of all ages.
- An area from London up to Manchester and then up to the Vale of York is covered by the alert.
- A very famous threshold, 40 degrees Celsius, indicates that climate change is already here. Climate change has greatly increased the likelihood of this.
- The Met Office issues a warning that not just individuals who are most susceptible to severe heat may face “adverse health impacts.”
- Penny Endersby, chief executive of the Met Office, called the prognosis for high temperatures “totally unusual” and encouraged the public to heed the warnings.
- The UK’s national weather service also issued a warning that there is a high danger of equipment and systems that are sensitive to heat failing, which could result in a localised loss of power and other important services like water or even mobile phone service.
- The general public has also been forewarned to anticipate vehicle delays as well as disruptions in rail and air travel.
According to the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), a heatwave reaches level four when it is so intense and/or persistent that its consequences go beyond the reach of the health and social care system. This implies that everyone, not just high-risk groups, including healthy, fit people, could be vulnerable to illness and death.