Heatwave temperature threshold raised in England by Met Office — should anyone care?

Posted: March 29, 2022 by oldbrew in climate, data, MET office, Natural Variation, Temperature

Heatwave time [image credit: BBC]

An amusing non-event. Many people in England are happy to spend time in warmer climates when they get the chance, as holiday choices show. The Met Office can waffle about greenhouses as much as it likes, but natural climate variation will take its course without reference to humans.
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Forecasters have raised the temperature at which a heatwave is declared in several areas of England, reports BBC News.

The Met Office defines a heatwave as when an area experiences daily maximum temperatures meeting or exceeding a certain level for three days in a row.

Eight counties have had these limits raised by the forecaster by 1C.

Announcing the change, experts said climate data showed “undeniable warming” in the UK accompanying increasing greenhouse gas emissions.

The new limits are:

28C (82F) in Surrey, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire and Cambridgeshire
27C (81F) in Lincolnshire
and 26C (79F) in the East Riding of Yorkshire

What defines a heatwave is linked to historical climate data. The UK has been experiencing rising average temperatures in recent years as a result of global warming.

Previous thresholds used data from 1981 to 2010, but the new limits are based on the period between 1991 and 2020, the Met Office said.

‘More frequent heatwaves’

The Met Office’s heatwave thresholds vary in the UK between 25C to 28C, with London previously the only area to have a limit of 28C.

Most South East counties have a threshold of 27C, while many central areas have a threshold of 26C.

The rest of England, as well as all of Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland still fall under a 25C threshold.

Dr Mark McCarthy, head of the Met Office National Climate Information Centre – the body which manages the UK’s climate records – said climate statistics over time have revealed an “undeniable warming trend for the UK”.

“Temperature rise has been greatest across parts of central and eastern England where they have increased by more than 1.0C in some locations, while further north areas of Scotland and Northern Ireland have seen temperatures rise by closer to 0.7C,” he added.

Dr McCarthy said while heatwaves are “extreme weather events”, scientific research [missing verb] that “climate change is making these events more likely”.

Continued here.

  1. […] Heatwave temperature threshold raised in England by Met Office — should anyone care? […]

  2. oldbrew says:

    “climate change is making these [extreme weather] events more likely”.


    Victorian rainfall data shows extreme UK weather events are nothing new

  3. Kip Hansen says:

    “He who controls the language controls thought.”

    Britons spend a great deal of money to travel to holiday spots that have average daytime temperatures in the ranges set as “heat waves” in the UK by the Met.

    Somehow it does not occur to them that a “heat wave” needs to be what people consider hot.

    25C or 77F is not hot — it is a nice warm Spring day. I have recently spent an entire decade living in a part of the world, a very desirable tourist destination, where the temperature rarely fell below the the new “heat wave” standards for the UK, day or night.

  4. oldbrew says:

    The Met Office doesn’t seem to have the same focus on cold snaps 🙄

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