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Temperature records begin to fall after only part one of this UK heatwave event

A hot day for much of the UK with Wales seeing its temperature record, provisionally, smashed. Jersey also having its hottest day on record. An uncomfortable night to come and then hotter on Tuesday.

Temperature records begin to fall after only part one of this UK heatwave event
Blog by Jo Farrow
Issued: 18th July 2022 17:54
Updated: 18th July 2022 17:58

Currently, it is not looking like Monday was a UK record breaker, but Wales has seen its hottest day on record, as has Jersey and many local stations. Cambridge and Lakenheath have recorded 38C on Monday afternoon, with at least 38.1C at Cambridge,  which is 100 Fahrenheit. It is not over yet. This heat has three parts and today was part one. There is also tonight and then tomorrow, which will be hotter than Monday for many parts of Britain. 

Top uk temperatures Monday heatwave

Part 1 – Monday 18th July

It's provisionally the hottest day on record in Wales according to the UK Met Office. Hawarden in Flintshire, North Wales has now provisionally reached 37.1°C (nearly 99 Fahrenheit) piping earlier Gogerddan, near Aberystwyth on the west coast of mid-Wales which reached 35.3°C today. These both beat the previous record high of 35.2°C, recorded at Hawarden Bridge on 2nd August 1990. This was the longest standing of the four nations' records.

Northern Ireland saw 31.3C in July 2021 in Co. Tyrone. Scotland 32.9C in August 2003 in the Borders. The UK, and England, record was in 2019 at Cambridge Botanic Garden with 38.7C on the 25th July.

“The temperature at the Maison St. Louis Observatory and Jersey Airport have now surpassed the all-time record of 36.0°C and will continue to rise until late afternoon. Records began at St. Louis in 1894 and at the Airport in 1951.” Jersey Met. Jersey has seen temperatures over 27C



There has been a bit of medium level cloud, Altocumulus Castellanus across southern England, which just inhibits the temperature rise as it drifts northeast this afternoon.

UK heatwave 38C Cambridge and Lakenheath

'Phoenix Park, Dublin has reached 33.0°C which is Ireland’s highest of 2022 so far, is a new all-time national record for the month of July and 12.8°C above normal. This is only 0.3°C below the all-time 135 year old record set at Kilkenny Castle in 1887. It is the highest air temperature recorded in Ireland in the 20th and 21st centuries and may rise further' Met Eireann 15:00GMT

There has been widespread rail disruption throughout Britain with many services being cancelled. RAF Brize Norton has problems with melting runway tarmac.

Temperatures have passed 37C in England today with a few spots over 38C. We see the temperature value on the hour but often it is higher within the hour between observations and we have to wait an hour or so for that to be announced. Sometimes it is not until the evening when the NCMs (National Meteorological Message) data is received which runs from 9am til 9pm (GMT) and then 9pm til 9am next day. This data comes from the Met Office’s official observation sites. Places that have been inspected and created to record the air temperature in the shade, at a certain height above the ground with a free air flow around the site. Direct sunlight will raise the reading as will being too close to the hotter ground.

Other local records will have fallen or will do on Tuesday. Sometimes a higher value is announced weeks later. This is infuriating for media headlines, waiting til 10am the next day seems bad enough, but announcing the hottest day ever, a month later is a bit lame. It just depends on how the data is gathered and verified.

Some of the sites have been taking observations for centuries. Many places have seen over 30C even passing 35C. Tuesday was always forecast to be the hotter day for central and eastern England, into SE Scotland.

Why? There is even hotter air still pumping up from the southwest and because the heat of Monday. This will be followed by an exceptional night as the heat remains. Then already high temperatures to start Tuesday will act as a springboard to reach the high 30s Celsius.

Very warm air moving up from south

Even hotter air moving up from France tonight, towards NW England, north Wales

Part 2 Monday night

This very warm night will be uncomfortable for many, the heat oppressive for some in urban areas. All this adds to the heat stress on people and pets. It will be a “Tropical Night” for many where the temperature does not dip below 20C. So other records could fall for the ‘Highest daily minimum’

England 23.9C August 1990 Brighton, Wales 22.2C July 1948 Swansea, Scotland 20.9C July 2019 Achnagart, Highland and Northern Ireland 20.6C July 1869 Armagh. These were the lowest that temperatures fell in a 24 hour period, of 09Z-09Z. It stayed at 20+C

NASA worldview

This looks very likely for Monday night. The winds will fall light, the hot air continues to be pumped up through western Europe by that low pressure of the west coast of Iberia. And the Extreme Heat warnings through Britain continue into a third day. (Second for some parts). Manchester and Birmingham to have an astonishing night with temperatures in the mid to high twenties, overnight!

The Severe weather warnings in the UK are impact based. A combination of high temperatures, the likelihood or confidence in the forecast and the impacts of the heat. So, the map does not reflect just temperature values but disruption that might be caused, or what these weather conditions will do to people’s health or daily activities.

Part 3 – Tuesday 19th July 2022

This day was always forecast to be even hotter. Ferocious heat with the temperatures charts consistently showing 40+C for central and eastern England. SE Scotland also had forecast values above 30C and nearing their record max.  For Northern Ireland, not as hot for most although very warm in Co. Down at lunchtime. There will be more sunshine and blue skies but two bands of cloud and showery rain approaching from the Atlantic. One affecting Northern Ireland with more cloud and then the Outer Hebrides with showers for Tuesday afternoon. Another in the SW bringing showery rain and more cloud to Cornwall and Devon Tuesday morning and then South Wales by lunchtime.

850mb temperatures

Look at the difference of the forecast air above eastern Scotland late morning and eastern England by late afternoon, compared to Monday

Today the temperatures have continued to rise right through the afternoon, even after 4pm. On Tuesday, there will be the raised starting point but the layer of thin high cloud complicates things from the west through the day, as a cold front reaches Northern Ireland. It’s going to be another intriguing day before the heat clears for midweek. 

Who records the official temperature observations and how?

Tags: UK Weather  Severe Weather

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