Was Summer 2018 The Hottest British Summer On Record?

By Benjamin Elisha Sawe on December 18 2018 in Environment

Sunbathers enjoying the beach during the British heatwave. Editorial credit: Necdet Emre / Shutterstock.com
Sunbathers enjoying the beach during the British heatwave. Editorial credit: Necdet Emre / Shutterstock.com

2018 was the joint hottest summer for the United Kingdom and the hottest ever in England. The sizzling sunshine experienced in the summer of 2018 surpassed the heat wave of 1976, which was one of the hottest summers in UK history, and other periods that have recorded sweltering temperatures include 2003 and 2006. The summer of 2018 has however been the hottest for the UK in general especially during June and July. Six-week duration of intense heat was recorded with the hottest day being Thursday of July 26 when temperatures soared to over 35.3oC in Faversham. This falls just 3 degrees below the hottest day in UK history in 2003 when Faversham experienced 38.5oC.

Causes of Intense Summer Heat in the UK

While the summer of 2018 is regarded as the hottest period recorded in years, the UK has had hot summers in the past as is the case of 1976 and 2003. The cause of the intense summer heat according to weather experts has been attributed to a wandering jet stream over the north of the UK. The jet caused a high-pressure effect over most parts of the UK. Although the jet stream is closely tied to the extreme temperatures experienced during the summer of 2018, some scientists have questioned the hand that global warming plays in making a heat wave more likely to occur.

Effects of the Summer Heat Wave

Summer of 2018 in the UK has had its effects both positive and negative. Many people took the opportunity to sunbathe in the many beaches along the coast while others went gardening. However such extreme heat poses health problems to some people including skin problems, there was a surge in reported numbers of admission in hospitals during this period.

Subsequent Seasons

The extended summer period in 2018 is bound to raise temperatures during the autumn according to scientists. The Met Office indicates that scorching heat levels in the summer are likely to pave way for above normal temperatures in the autumn. The case of August, September, and October, a three-month view, has shown an increased probability of higher pressure near the UK. The metrological department says higher temperatures during the autumn are more likely to be as a result of changing sea levels.

Climate Change Due to Human Activities

A previous study by the World Weather Attribution determined that the likelihood of the heat wave in Europe was going to be significantly increased by practices such as the burning of fossil fuels. Researchers from Met Office agree that some climatic factors trigger heat waves like these including global warming. They assert that if global warming continues to stay unchecked, it could contribute to warmer summers in the future. Environmentalists have called for government steps towards reducing consumption of fossil fuel and investing in more efficient use of energy for longevity and as a measure to prevent more intense heat waves in years to come.

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