UK set to start August with dampened spirits over longer spells of rain

While mainland Europe swelters in a deadly heatwave, Brits are set for a gloomy summer with “longer spells of rain” putting paid to any hopes of a sunny staycation.

The Met Office’s long-range forecast covering the first couple of weeks of August say that predominantly westerly or northwesterly winds are likely to bring a continuation of unsettled conditions, with showers and the chance of longer spells of rain at times.

“However,” the Met Office long-range forecast predicts: “towards the middle of August, conditions may become somewhat more settled with a lower likelihood of showers.

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“Temperatures are most likely to be around average, with a lower than average probability of hot conditions developing”.

Europe is currently in the grip of Heatwave Cerberus, with temperatures in parts of Spain and Italy climbing into the high 40s.

An area of high pressure is trapped over the southern Mediterranean, with clouds of dust from the Sahara acting as a blanket to prevent the warm air from dissipating.

High sea temperatures are adding to the problem, with a lack of cooling onshore breezes making the situation even worse.

Spain’s weather services have warned that temperatures could reach 45ºC (113ºF) in south-eastern parts of the country.

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Croatia, France, Greece, Turkey and Italy are also experiencing dangerously high temperatures, leading to the a 44-year-old man in Lodi, southeast of Milan, who collapsed after working outdoors in 40 degree temperatures.

And temperatures could climb even higher. Professor Luca Mercalli, president of the Italian Meteorological Society, predicted: "We know that there will be temperatures above 40C or 45C.

"We could get close to the record. Either way, the levels will be very high."

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Next week temperatures could climb as high as 48ºC in Puglia, Sardinia and Sicily as a second heatwave – named Charon – sweeps into Italy.

The heatwave is extending well beyond the confines of the Mediterranean – Prague in Czechia could face highs of 36°C on Saturday, well above its 22°C average for this time of year.

Met Office spokesperson Nicola Maxey says that the deadly heatwave could last another week or even longer.

"There are no signs of any major changes in weather type the next couple of weeks at present," she told Sky News.

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