The temperature exceeded 40C for the first time on record as a heat wave hit the UK this week. With 40.2C reported at Heathrow at 12.50 pm.
Authorities placed most of the country under a “red” warning for heat for the first time in history, with the temperature exceeding 40C across London and the country’s south and Midlands.
With the emergency declared in the country, Schools and doctors’ offices closed their doors; the British Museum closed its galleries, train routes from London up the east and west coast of the country were canceled, electricity companies reported mass outages, and the busy city centers appeared to be quieter. And the government urged people to work from home.
To the east of the capital, a large fire engulfed homes in the village of Wennington, with flames tearing across neighboring tinder-dry fields and approaching a historic church. Elsewhere large grass areas around the capital were on fire, blowing smoke over major roads and the nearby regions.
It comes as the UK recorded its warmest night on record from Monday into Tuesday, according to provisional figures from the Met Office.
Stephen Belcher at the Met Office said he had not expected to see such temperatures in Britain in his career and added” “Research conducted here at the Met Office has demonstrated that the UK can’t experience 40C in an undisrupted climate, but climate change driven by greenhouse gases has made these extreme temperatures possible,”
Mayor Sadiq Khan announced the incident saying that London Fire Brigade is under “immense pressure” and multiple houses are under threat in Wennington.
Khan said, “I’m in touch with the Commissioner and will share updates when I have them.”
Climate scientists said the once-unthinkable temperature in London was likely to become more common in coming years.
Sony Kapoor, a climate and macro-economic professor at European University Institute, said he had long thought that people underestimated the physical impacts of climate change in contemporary times. “But even I never thought we would see 40 degrees Celsius in London in 2022,” he said.
If you’re living in the UK, please share with us your experience with the heatwave in the comment section.