The tropical temperatures that dazzled Britain in sunshine yesterday have turned to rain today as a ‘Saharan bubble’ brings widespread storms to the UK.
Torrential downpours could see up to a month’s rain fall in some places over a 60-hour period of wind, with Met Office ‘danger to life’ warnings in place for almost all of England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.
Homes and businesses could be flooded amid warnings of lightning strikes and gale-force winds. Thunderstorms are likely to mean travel chaos for large swathes of the country, with train and bus services delayed or cancelled and driving conditions treacherous.
Some communities could experience power cuts, with severe weather warnings in place for all of today and part of tomorrow.
But later in the week Britain could break its 35C (95F) June temperature record as the 2,000-mile wide African air plume brings a heatwave to Europe following the grim Sunday-to-Tuesday period.
UK temperatures will be hotter than Egypt and Thailand – but sweltering humidity could also mean more thunderstorms, floods and a muddy Glastonbury this week.
Hot air is shown on a dramatic weather map covering Britain and stretching from Spain to Norway. Germany, due 41C (106F), is set to break its 40.3C (104.5) temperature record.
Festival-goers in Somerset refuse to let rain dampen their spirits as showers descend on the Weston Air Festival today
Fans wait as rain is expected to delay play at the Hampshire Bowl before the Cricket World Cup match between Bangladesh and Afghanistan in Southampton
Rain descends on Liverpool after a weekend of sunshine as thunderstorm warnings are rolled out across the UK
All good things come to an end: People in Liverpool cling on to their umbrellas as they walk the soaked streets this morning
Most of England and part of Scotland and Wales are covered by a thunderstorm warning for Monday, with warnings still in place for the south east on Tuesday
A 2,000-mile wide African air plume called the Saharan Bubble is expected to bring Europe a record heatwave – with Britain expected to break through its 35C (95F) June temperature record. Temperatures for today pictured above
What is the ‘Saharan bubble’?
Britain could break its 35C (95F) June temperature record this week with the arrival of a 2,000-mile wide African plume in continental Europe.
But it will begin with humid thunderstorms and severe weather warnings covering the majority of England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.
A huge bubble of hot air from northern Africa will move north of Algeria towards Italy and Spain on Monday.
High pressure will mean the mercury is still high, but tropical thunderstorms will also bring rain, wind and hail.
The grim spell of showers and storms will last until Wednesday, when conditions will start to improve.
The Met Office forecast UK temperature highs building from 28C on Monday to nearly 30C by Thursday and potential for 34C – and possibly hotter if less cloud – on Friday and Saturday.
Met Office experts are warning of more floods from almost a month’s rain in one day 50mm (1.97in) in England and 100mm (3.94in) in Scotland today
A yellow thunderstorm warning is in place until midnight on Monday for the vast majority of England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and almost half of Wales.
Another one continues for the south east of England, midlands and parts of the north east, as well as Liverpool, Manchester and northern Wales.
As the week goes on and the rain falls away, temperature highs of 30C (86F) are expected Thursday and potential for 34C (93F) – and possibly hotter if less cloud – on Friday and Saturday.
MeteoGroup said there is a chance of up to 35C (95F). Bookmakers Coral cut odds to 4/5 on breaking the 35.6C (96.1F) June record that was set on June 29, 1957, in London, and June 28, 1976, in Southampton.
Britain will be hotter than Alexandria, Egypt, and Phuket, Thailand, both only due temperatures of 30C (86F).
This week the UK is also expected smash the hottest day of 2019, the 28.8C (83.9F) on June 2, at Weybourne, Norfolk. Northern England, which typically sees cooler temperatures than London and the south is expected to hit 28C (82F).
The first Government heat health warning of the year put hospitals on alert for an increase in admissions and ordered health and social workers to prepare to make daily contact with the ill, vulnerable and elderly.
Glastonbury, which begins on Wednesday, faces a humid bath bath, after double the amount of usual rainfall, 91mm (3.6in), soaked Somerset so far this month.
Despite a wet start, the Met Office said summer is ten times more likely to be much-hotter-than- average than much-cooler-than-average across June, July and August.
Much-hotter-than-usual UK average temperatures are up to 50 per cent probability. Much-cooler-than-normal conditions are just a five per cent chance.
Met Office forecaster Simon Partridge said: ‘Warm air from north Africa will bring an extensive heatwave to large parts of western and central Europe, with highs into the 40s (104F) in Germany and France.
‘The UK will see highs build through the week after 28C (82.4F) on Monday and Tuesday. By Friday and Saturday sees the chance of 34C (93.2F), and possibly warmer if there is more sunshine and less cloud in the west, which is forecast to be the hottest area.
‘It will be very humid, with thunderstorms until Tuesday bringing the risk of localised flooding, and showers popping up later in the week.
‘Glastonbury has wet ground and risks thundery showers before the festival and occasional showers during the event, but will be in the region with the hottest temperatures – so pack wellies and sun cream.’
Mr Partridge continued: ‘An extensive heatwave is on the way for much of the UK for the best part of a week. ‘Heat from north Africa will cover a big area of Europe, with up to 41C (106F) in western Germany and France.’
MeteoGroup forecaster Mario Cuellar said: ’35C (95F) is a low chance and 33C (91F) is a good chance, with the hottest days on Friday and Saturday.’
The Weather Outlook forecaster Brian Gaze said: ‘One of Europe’s biggest heat plumes for many years will arrive in the UK, with temperatures possibly over 30C (86F) early in the week, with the hottest conditions later in the week.
An aerial view of the Glastonbury Festival site, which is expected to be hit by heavy rain, which could mean the ground is wet for the first arrivals on Wednesday morning
‘But thunderstorms are expected to be real firecrackers, with flooding expected. Glastonbury risks quagmire conditions.’
Ex-BBC and Met Office forecaster John Hammond of weathertrending said: ‘Blistering heat from near 40C (104F) temperatures in Europe look like wafting our way.’
The Met Office three-month forecast said: ‘For June-August as a whole, the probability UK average temperatures will fall into the warmest of our five categories is 45-50 per cent. The coldest category is five per cent.
‘The probability of higher-than-average pressure, associated with warmer-than-average conditions, is increased by North Atlantic sea surface temperature patterns. These are similar to, but not as marked, as last year.’
The Met Office 30-day outlook said: ‘Temperatures will continue to feel warm. Temperatures during July 6-20 are likely to be slightly above average.’
The wet weather over the next few days could turn tranquil areas of the festival site like this makeshift shelter into mud baths
Paris opens ‘cool rooms’ to protect the public during ‘orange’ heat alert to avoid repeat of 2003 deathly heatwave as Europe braces for record-breaking 104F temperatures
By Corazon Miller for MailOnline and AFP
Europe is bracing for blistering weather this week as hot air from the Sahara is expected to bring temperatures of 104F (40C) to cities across the continent – including the French capital of Paris.
French authorities have issued an ‘orange’ alert – the second highest level – for the intense heat expected that is expected to hit-record breaking temperatures for June by the middle of the week.
To date, the most severe heatwave in France was in 2003, when temperatures in the capital hit a record high of 104.72F (40.7C) on June 22nd that year – only a fraction higher than this week’s expected highs.
French meteorologist French Tual said the period of intense weather was likely to last till July.
Officials across Europe have released guidelines for surviving the scorching weather and hospitals are on high-alert for a surge in admissions related to dehydration, heat-stroke and other weather-related conditions.
Meteorologist Steven Tual said the hot weather would bring an intense period of heat for the rest of June. In this tweet he indicated it was the hottest heatwave since the 2003 to 2006 summer periods of intense heat
In Paris, officials pledged to open ‘cool rooms’ inside public buildings, set up temporary water fountains and leave the city’s parks and gardens unlocked and accessible at night.
City workers would also distribute water to the homeless and install fans in schools and nurseries.
France is wary of a repeat of the intense heatwave of summer 2003, when nearly 15,000 died over a two-week period, most of them elderly.
In Germany, forecasters said they were expecting a week-long heatwave with temperatures that could break the 2015 record of 104.5F (40.3C) – blaming it on a front of ‘warm air coming from the Sahara’.
Officials are also warning that the extreme heat could bring on violent storms.
Britain’s MetOffice said it was particularly concerned that the heatwave could trigger ‘violent storms’ and warned Britons to expect ‘hot, humid and unstable’ weather.
It issued a severe weather warning for heavy rain and thunderstorms on Monday and Tuesday, saying the highest temperatures would be in excess of 86F (30C) in central and southwest England.
Spain’s AEMET weather agency issued a ‘yellow alert’ for severe weather on Sunday, but said it expected the heat to peak later in the week with temperatures soaring over 104F (40C), particularly inland.
‘Temperatures may exceed 42 degrees’ [107.6F] in the northeastern Ebro valley area from Thursday until Saturday, the agency said, indicating the heat could persist into early next week.
Meteo France warned of a ‘hot, humid and unstable’ weather front that could push the mercury up to 40 degrees from Tuesday in some parts of the country, including Paris
And after last summer’s heatwave, farmers were again fearful the high temperatures could damage crops.
‘Should we get tropical temperatures of 35 degrees (95F) or more , that would depress the crop yields,’ farmers’ spokesman Joachim Rukwied told DPA news agency, saying grain crops had received just enough rainfall last month and were going through an ‘important growing phase’.
Forecasters are blaming the heatwave on a front of warm air coming in from the Sahara
In Belgium, the Royal Meteorological Institute also issued a severe heat warning, saying it was expecting temperatures in the range of 93F to 95F (34C to 35C) from Tuesday, with similar hot weather also expected in Switzerland.
Dutch officials issued a heat warning in seven of its 12 provinces Sunday.
They urged people, especially the young and elderly to drink plenty of water, to stay indoors and use protective clothing and sunblock.
The Dutch ‘Heat Plan’ comes into action when continuous temperatures above 80.6F (27C) are forecast.
Greece was also expected to record blistering temperatures this weekend, with forecasters warning of highs of 102F (39C) in some areas although they were seen falling earlier next week.
In the Balkans, soaring temperatures saw many people flocking to rivers, lakes and swimming pools in an effort to cool down last week, although a weekend of stormy weather helped take the edge off the heat.
This latest intense heatwave again shows the impact of global warming on the planet, and such weather conditions are likely to become more frequent, meteorologists said.
A busy beach with tourists and holidaymakers at Playa Cura, Torrevieja (file photo). Spain’s AEMET weather agency expected the heat to peak later in the week with temperatures soaring over 104F
Greece was also expected to record blistering temperatures this weekend, with forecasters warning of highs of 102F