UK heatwave may fall short of 40C, forecasters say – but still ‘dangerously’ hot

Meteorologists are now expecting temperatures in this week's heatwave to fall just short of 40C after the 'unprecedented' forecast sent shockwaves across the nation.

After days of speculation, forecasters from BBC weather issued the shocking temperature prediction at the end of last week for London and parts of south east England on Monday (July 18) and Tuesday (July 19).

It followed the appearance of the number — which would smash the existing UK record by almost two degrees— on a number of other weather forecasting computer models, leading some experts to warn that 'thousands' of people could die amid the hot weather.

READ MORE: 'Thousands' of Brits could die in this weekend's sizzling 40C heatwave, says expert

The government-run UK Health Safety Authority even issued its first ever 'extreme heat warning', which advises people to avoid physical exertion at peak sunlight hours and keep curtains closed on windows facing the sun.

But the Beeb now expect the mercury to register at a slightly lower 39C and 38C in the region over the first two days of next week, which would still leave many parts of the capital in perilously hot weather.

Scotland, Wales and the north of England will meanwhile see warm but considerably cooler temperature counts in the high 20s and low 30s over the same period.

As of Sunday (July 17) morning the Met Office also does not currently have a specific forecast of 40C for anywhere in the United Kingdom, though said in a statement there remains a 50-50 chance temperatures will exceed this figure.

Chief Meteorologist Paul Gundersen said: “Exceptional, perhaps record-breaking temperatures are likely early next week, quite widely across the red warning area on Monday, and focussed a little more east and north on Tuesday."

"Currently there is a 50% chance we could see temperatures top 40°C and 80% we will see a new maximum temperature reached."

Mr Gundersen also warned that warm night-time temperatures could leave many uncomfortable, especially in urban areas.


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