England is preparing for temperatures above 40C, which would break a record set three years ago, prompting the UK National Weather Service to issue its first “red warning for exceptional heat”.
“Exceptional, perhaps record-breaking temperatures are likely early next week,” said Paul Gundersen, Britain’s chief meteorologist. “There is a 50 percent chance that we can see temperatures above 40 C and 80 percent we will see a new maximum temperature reached.”
He warned that this heat level “could have negative health effects”[ads1];.
Severe weather forecast for Monday and Tuesday covers parts of central, northern, eastern and southeastern England. A yellow warning has been in place for much of this week.
There will be a high risk of “failure of heat-sensitive systems and equipment, which could potentially lead to localized loss of electricity and other important services, such as water or mobile phone services,” the Meteorological Office said in a statement on Friday.
Railway passengers in England and Wales have been warned not to travel unless “absolutely necessary” on Monday and Tuesday.
Network Rail, which operates the UK’s railway infrastructure, said the heat could affect overhead lines and steel rails. It may impose speed limits next week to stop rails from breaking.
The Avanti West Coast, which runs train services between London and cities in the Midlands, north of England and Scotland, has warned passengers to expect disruptions, including changes in timetables and longer journeys.
More people will go to coastal areas, lakes and rivers, which increases the risk of water safety incidents, the Met Office added.
The motor group RAC expects that roadside assistance will increase with the number of drivers on Monday and Tuesday 15 to 20 percent higher than normal in mid-July. This will correspond to more than 1000 extra accidents a day.
The record temperature in the UK is 38.7 C, set in the Cambridge Botanic Garden on 25 July 2019.
⚠️⚠️🔴 Red warning of extreme heat issued 🔴⚠️⚠️
Parts of England Monday and Tuesday
Latest info 👉 https://t.co/QwDLMg9c70
– With Office (@metoffice) July 15, 2022