Scorching UK heatwave to return next week – and could become annual event

The scorching UK heatwave could come back with full force next week, according to long term weather forecasts.

Moreover, experts have warned that the roasting conditions could become an annual occurrence after the mercury soared above 40C today (July 19) – making it the hottest day on record.

Scientists have said that our buildings and public infrastructure need to be redesigned going forwards if we are to cope with hotter temperatures expected every year.

READ MORE: Terrifying wildfire infernos break out across UK as 40C scorcher heatwave wreaks havoc

At a media briefing today, a panel of experts declared “we are not built for 40C”, warning that more shade and better ventilation must be built into hospitals, public transport and open public spaces, reports the Mirror.

Prof Hannah Cloke, natural hazards expert at Reading University, said: "We’re going to hopefully see an end to this in a couple of days time but there is a remaining risk of going back up again in a week or so afterwards. That’s pretty concerning.

"We know that heatwaves are killers.

"Last year’s heat wave in the UK killed at least 10 times as many people as the Grenfell fire so I think we have to start thinking about heat waves very differently, perhaps in the same way as we think about house fires or apartments.

"And we need detailed plans and everybody has to know what role they have, and rehearse that part in the operation.

"Severe heat waves are a problem that’s not going away and they will get worse. So we can no longer tolerate poor design of our buildings and our cities.

"We urgently need to think about things like reducing overheating, shading trees, buildings for cooling, and providing these public cooling spaces because we’re not built for 40C."

Deaths linked to heat, particularly from heart problems, start to increase significantly in Britain when temperatures go above 25C.

Government emergency response documents say women, over-75s and people who live alone are at greater risk.

Experts say we must “blue or green” our cities with tree shades areas and water fountains because such extreme heatwaves are around 1,000 times more likely globally than 100 years ago.

Dr Eunice Lo, climate scientist at Bristol University, said: "It’s not only the most vulnerable people who are at risk of health impacts from hate right now. it’s even the fit and healthy people who will be at risk.

"Everyone is at risk and we do need to be aware and take precautions and definitely not behave like it’s a normal sunny day to go out and have fun."

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The UK has temperature records going back to 1884 but the 10 hottest years have all come since 2002.

Prof Nigel Arnell, climate scientist at Reading University, said: "Most of the infrastructure we’ve got will still be here in 40 years.

"There’s a big job in retrofitting our infrastructure to acceptable levels of performance.

"It’s okay to have train lines closed perhaps once a year, but what happens if it is closed every July for 30 days?"


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