Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, has triggered an emergency severe weather response for the city as Britain experiences its longest-ever September heatwave.
This decision comes as forecasts predict temperatures exceeding 33C (91F) will persist until the end of the weekend.
The emergency response, known as London’s Severe Weather Emergency Protocol, is usually reserved for freezing winter conditions but was also activated during the July 2022 heatwave when UK temperatures reached a scorching 40C (104F) for the first time.
This protocol will provide support to homeless individuals, including emergency accommodation, water, and sunscreen.
Record-Breaking Heatwave Continues
The Met Office predicts that areas in Britain will see up to seven consecutive days with temperatures above 30C (86F) this week, with a potential peak of 33C (91F) in London.
This week is set to break records for the most consecutive September days with temperatures of 30C (86F) or higher, surpassing previous records.
The hottest day of the year so far in 2023 could occur during this heatwave, potentially reaching 33C (91F), surpassing the current record of 32.2C (90.0F).
Heatwave Impact and Alerts
An amber heat health alert from the UK Health Security Agency is in effect until Sunday for all regions of England, except the North East, which has a yellow alert.
This prolonged heatwave poses health risks, especially for individuals over 65 or those with pre-existing respiratory or cardiovascular conditions.
The record for the highest overnight minimum temperature for September, 21.7C (71.1F), may also be challenged.
Causes of the Heatwave
The heatwave in Britain is attributed to tropical storms pushing a high-pressure system over the UK, causing the jet stream to shift northward.
This pattern, known as an omega blocking pattern, has resulted in hot, dry, and clear conditions for the UK and central Europe while bringing torrential rain and flooding to Spain and Greece.
This September heatwave is unusual for its duration, with temperatures remaining consistently high.
While temperatures have reached similar levels in the past, the sustained heat over multiple days is atypical for September.
The Met Office anticipates that the warm and dry weather will persist into the coming weeks, with occasional spells of rain and showers.
Late September may see a higher probability of high-pressure systems than usual for this time of year, potentially leading to unseasonably warm spells.
In summary, Sadiq Khan has activated an emergency response in London due to the ongoing September heatwave, which is breaking records for its duration and high temperatures across Britain.
The causes of this heatwave and its impacts on health have been discussed, along with the possibility of further temperature records being broken.
The weather outlook suggests continued warm and dry conditions with occasional rain.