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Heatwaves have increased in frequency, intensity, and length, all confirming a human-induced climate crisis. Extreme heat prompts the UK to issue its first-ever red alert as the forecast threatens temperatures of 104 degrees Fahrenheit (40 Celsius) or greater for southern England. The warning, in place for July 18 and 19, 2022, cautions the public to refrain from unnecessary travel due to health risks posed by the extreme heat, such as heatstroke and other heat-related illnesses. Even fit and healthy people are at risk.
French weather forecasters predicted up to 106 F (41 C) in its southern region for Sunday. In addition, they expect record extreme heat on Monday.
UK Met Office told the population to refrain from calling emergency services and to seek health advice using the non-emergency number. They warn that changes in daily routines may be required. Moreover, there is a high risk of heat-sensitive systems and equipment failures leading to localized power outages and water or mobile phone services.
The Weather Channel’s senior Meteorologist Jonathan Erdman commented that nobody alive had witnessed such high temperatures, nor has one been forecast in the past. He said UK’s current extreme heat was similar to the hot summer days in Dallas or Houston, Texas. The highest record was 102 degrees F (38.7 C) in Cambridge in July 2019.
A climate scientist at Bristol University, Dr. Eunice Lo, said, “Rising temperatures are a signature of climate change.” The doctor noted that “in the UK, 2,000 extra deaths a year were attributable to heatwaves,” according to the BBC. In addition, more than 1,000 heat-related deaths recently occurred in Portugal and Spain as temperatures reached 116.6 F (47 C).
Sweltering weather across the Mediterranean left vegetation dry and caused “thousands of firefighters and many waterbombing aircraft” to be deployed from Morocco to Crete. Fires in Marocco’s Larache province prompted the evacuation of over 1,300 people. Several blazes are burning in Crete, southwest Turkey, and Croatia’s Adriatic coast.
Late Saturday evening, French officials placed 22 additional regional fire departments on high alert, many of which were along its Atlantic coast. A southwestern France resident told the BBC that the fires felt “post-apocalyptic.” Twenty-seven-year-old Manon Jacquart said: “Everything we so fast — the fire too, was big, big, big.” She further talked about being afraid but trying to remain strong.
National heatwave emergency declared within the UK early next week with official forecasts now breaking the 40°C threshold. Enormous number of heat records about to fall across many European countries.
Meanwhile, strong heat builds across the Atlantic in North America. pic.twitter.com/QdePtzJHcX
— Scott Duncan (@ScottDuncanWX) July 15, 2022
Written by Cathy Milne-Ware
Nature World News: UK Faces First Red Extreme Heat Warning with Temperature Highs at 100 Degrees; by Rich Co
Nature World News: Extreme Weather Envelops Europe as Heat Wave Grips the UK and Wildfires Engulf France and Portugal; by Louise Franco
Met Office: An exceptional hot spell on Monday and Tuesday leading to widespread impacts on people and infrastructure.
BBC: Heatwave: More evacuations as Mediterranean wildfires spread; by Laurence Peter