UK weather: How long will heatwave last? Met Office updates after hottest day of year

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The UK is set to experience a few more days of heatwave as the country recorded its hottest day of the year so far on Thursday with provisional data showing a high of 32.6C in Surrey.

It was the fourth consecutive day above 30C, a record for September, as many areas swelter in a late summer heatwave. But the heat is expected to last a bit longer before the weather takes a turn.

Friday is forecasted to be another “very warm or hot day with plenty of sunshine”, according to Met Office. Although some isolated thundery showers are possible in the west, temperatures will remain higher, with forecast highs of 27C in Manchester, 26C in Cardiff, 24C in Edinburgh and 29C in London.

But the warmth comes with a catch, with the Met Office warning of “uncomfortable” humid nights and thunderstorms in parts of the country.

The heat is set to climb even higher into the weekend with temperatures predicted to reach the low 30s across England and Wales.

The Met Office says it expects the hottest day of the year so far by the end of the week, with parts of England to see 33C on Saturday or sooner.

Parts of Scotland will reach 26C on Friday whereas the South of England will hit 29C

(The Met Office )

The North East will see highs of 24C and the North West will reach 25C whilst Scotland will reach 22C, Northern Ireland 23C and Wales 24C.

Areas in the East Midlands are set to reach 30C whilst the West Midlands will experience highs of 29C.

Saturday could be the hottest day of this year with London hitting at least 31C

(The Met Office)

Office Chief Meteorologist Paul Gundersen said: “High pressure is situated to the southeast of the UK, which is bringing more settled conditions and temperatures well above average for the time of year.

“While the highest temperatures are expected in the south, heatwave conditions are likely across much of England and Wales especially, with parts of Scotland and Northern Ireland also likely to see some unseasonably high temperatures.”

The south will face the highest temperatures as Bristol in the South West will reach 28C and London in the South East will reach 33C.

(PA Wire)

Mr Gundersen explained why we are experiencing unusual highs for this time of year.

He said: “An active tropical cyclone season in the North Atlantic has helped to amplify the pattern across the North Atlantic, pushing the jet stream well to the north of the UK, allowing some very warm air to be drawn north.

“It’s a marked contrast to the much of meteorological summer, when the UK was on the northern side of the jet stream with cooler air and more unsettled weather.”

Conditions are expected to cool down a little by Sunday – but it’s expected to remain warm enough to have a BBQ instead of a roast dinner.

Temperatures are expected to ease off as Glasgow will hit 21C and Cardiff will hit 23C

(The Met Office )

London will remain hot at 30C, the South West will reach 21C, Wales will hit 23C and the North West 24C. Northern Ireland and Scotland are expected to experience highs of 21C.

There’s also a chance of thunderstorms in western areas over the next couple of days and nights; this is unlikely to be very widespread, according to the Met Office.

Britons can expect “uncomfortably warm” nights to continue, especially in the South where residents can prepare to have to sleep through “tropical” conditions as temperatures remain over 20C.

The forecaster has warned that such temperatures are unusual for September and the increase is fuelled by the human-caused climate crisis.

Hot spells like this are becoming more frequent and severe, the Met Office said.

“By 2070, the chance of exceeding 30C for two days or more throughout the year increases. Projections show that over southern parts of the UK exceeding 30C for two days or more becomes sixteen times more frequent than it is today.”

How long will heatwave last?

While September’s warm weather is set to continue into the weekend for much of the UK, there’s a chance of some thundery rain and change in weather as soon as a “cold front” arrives.

“A cold front will begin to influence things as it arrives from the northwest over the weekend, though it’ll remain very warm or hot to the southeast of this front,” Met Office deputy chief meteorologist Nick Silkstone said.

“There’s a chance the thunderstorm risk for some central and western areas from Friday, but more especially Saturday onwards may require a warning response, with some potentially impactful downpours, though exact details on the likely positioning of these downpours are still being determined, and indeed many places may see little if any rain on Friday and Saturday.”

By the early part of next week, the Met Office predicts a return to “normal temperatures” with a mix of sunshine and some showers.

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