Tourists told to heed Europe heatwave advice as Met Office says England will see 40C temperatures again
Killer 40C temperatures like those seen in England this time last year, will return more often without a cut to emissions, the Met Office is warning.
It was on July 19 2022, that the mercury topped 40.3C in England for the very first time during a heatwave since estimated to have killed more than 3,000 people in the UK.
In the 365 days that have followed such sky-high temperatures - like that recorded on the day in Coningsby, Lincolnshire – have yet to be seen again in this country.
But climate forecasters fear numbers like it will occur more frequently if more is not done to protect the planet.
Alongside thousands of premature deaths, July’s record breaking temperatures in 2022 tested both emergency and public services.
Emergency calls to rivers, reservoirs and the sea increased significantly as people attempted to cool off in open water.
Network Rail was forced to suspend thousands of services as rails buckled in the heat leaving passengers stranded, while hospitals announced the cancellation of some planned operations as theatres overheated and fears grew that IT server rooms were struggling.
Firefighters were also overwhelmed with 999 calls for help, which saw 46 services declare major incidents as London Fire Brigade confirmed it had taken more calls than on July 19 than on any other day since the Second World War.
So far this year it is parts of Europe, China and America that are setting new records for unrelenting heat.
Weather warnings have been issued by the Foreign Office for those heading to popular tourist spots in Italy, Spain and Greece, encouraging holidaymakers to follow all local advice to the letter.
Italy is also considering limiting access to some of its most popular tourist attractions during the hottest parts of the day.
However there won’t be compensation or refunds for anyone choosing to cancel their trips – with the government stopping short of any ‘do not travel’ instructions.
England, so far this summer, has seen few signs that such heat is yet again on the horizon with the rest of July expected to remain largely unsettled. However forecasters believe such scorching weather is increasingly likely, as Europe this week is proving.
Oli Claydon of the Met Office said: “The likelihood of exceeding 40C somewhere in the UK in a given year is increasing due to human-induced climate change.
“The chance of reaching the 40C threshold in the UK is now around 1% chance per year in the present climate.
“This could increase to around 6.7% chance per year by 2100 under a medium-emissions scenario and 28.6% chance per year by 2100 under the high-emissions scenario.”