August heatwave 2021: Temperatures set to soar in UK, long range Met Office forecast suggests

Temperatures should be slightly warmer than normal in the second half of August but a second heatwave is dependent on the right conditions

Ella Glover
Tuesday 03 August 2021 20:00
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UK weather: The latest Met Office forecast

Another heatwave could potentially hit the UK in a matter of weeks depending on conditions, a long-range forecast has predicted.

While the UK enjoyed a brief spell of summer weather during the July heatwave, a semblance of sun seemed like a long shot after weeks of rain, thunderstorms and floods.

However, the Met Office’s long-range forecast suggests all this is about to change.

While the beginning of the month is looking unpredictable and changeable, with dry spells possible in-between showers, thunderstorms and potential torrential downpour, the second half of the month - from the 16th onwards - is looking much drier.

There are current signals of a drier and warmer than average period from the middle of August, the Met Office said in its forecast, although unsettled weather in the North West of England remains possible and “short-lived thundery spells” are expected in the southeast.

According to the BBC’s monthly outlook, high pressure from the Mediterranean Sea will push storms northward and drier weather should “spread in from the south,” bringing with it a tropical air mass.

The change in weather mid-August may be gradual, the BBC said, taking days or potentially a week to appear.

Then, temperatures should be slightly warmer than normal but a second heatwave is dependent on the right conditions.

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The BBC added: “Temperatures should trend warmer than normal into late August, with some warm days possible if high pressure moves overhead for too long. If the high does linger overhead, a heatwave may develop, but confidence is low on this.

“Chances for heat increase later in the month, but high pressure will need to move into the correct spot for this to pan out.”

Long-range forecasts are often not as accurate as shorter-range forecasts. This is because, when looking at forecasts beyond five days into the future, “the chaotic nature of the atmosphere starts to come into play,” the Met Office said.

It said: “Therefore whilst we can still forecast the general feel of the weather to a relatively high level of accuracy using our ensemble models, it becomes harder to offer local detail to as high a level of accuracy as our shorter range forecasts.” The Met Office’s latest climate update found that the country’s 10 hottest years have all occurred since 2002, with last year being the third warmest on record after 2014 and 2006.

As well as being among the hottest, 2020 was also the fifth wettest and eight sunniest on record, the report says.

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