LONDON (BLOOMBERG) – London is in the midst of a potentially dangerous heatwave that is also spreading across western Europe, with little relief in sight.
Temperatures in the UK capital are set to hit 31 deg C (87.8 degrees Fahrenheit) Monday (July 11), according to the Met Office. Early next week could be even hotter in the south of England.
The scorching weather follows Europe’s third-warmest June on record, underscoring the consequences of a warming planet.
Temperatures are expected to be higher to much higher than normal in southern UK, France, Germany and Italy through the middle of next week, according to forecaster Maxar Technologies.
“When it comes to summer heat, climate change is a complete game changer and has already turned what would once been have called exceptional heat into very frequent summer conditions,” said Professor Friederike Otto, senior lecturer in climate science at Imperial College London.
“Every heatwave we experience today has been made hotter because of the fossil fuels we have burned over the last decades in particular.”
The Met Office on Monday issued a Level 3 heat-health alert, which requires social and healthcare services to take actions to protect high-risk groups, such as the elderly, young children and people with respiratory problems.
With periods of extreme heat likely to become more common in the UK, local government councils will be working to ensure communities can be kept safe, said Mr David Fothergill, chairman of the Local Government Association’s Community Wellbeing Board.
The Met Office expects a slight cold front may bring down temperatures on Wednesday, before very hot temperatures return during the weekend.
“Temperatures are likely to build again with another hot spell lasting into the start of next week that could see temperatures higher than at the moment for southern areas of the UK especially,” Ms Annie Shuttleworth, a meteorologist for the Met Office, said by email.
The rise in temperatures is adding pressure to already-high energy prices, as people turn on air conditioning to keep cool.
UK power prices for Monday reached the highest level since June 29, though they eased slightly for Tuesday, according to Epex Spot SE data.
Wind generation is set to climb throughout the day Monday and into Tuesday morning, bringing some relief to prices.
Power demand in Britain is forecast to peak at 34.6 gigawatts at 6pm on Monday before slipping on Tuesday, according to data from National Grid.