Hundreds of computer models around the world throw out thousands of charts each day with forecast for the next few weeks.
What they show is never taken literally and with a pinch of salt, unless it’s for the next few days. But beyond that it’s usually just a trend we’re looking for – warmer, colder, wetter or windier…
Now if you follow me on Twitter, you’ll have seen in the last few weeks I’ve been posting snapshots of models predicting temperatures as high as 43C for parts of England at the end of this week, but remember that pinch of salt, but even still, this is terrifying to see.
That extreme heat is coming in from Western Europe where there are equally frightening figures being shown.
I’d say that this week there’s a chance that Portugal, Spain, France, Netherlands, Germany and in the UK that all-time temperature records could be challenged, or even broken.
The records as they currently stand are Spain and Portugal 47C, France 46C, Netherlands 41C, Germany 41C and the UK 39C.
The worrying part about these records is that five of them were set in the last three years.
Now I had someone say to me the other day extreme heat is “nothing new”.
Yes, I completely agree, but before anyone says this is normal, it’s not. It’s normal to have extremes, all through history, but the regularity of extremes and the volatility is not.
Think about it even here. Edinburgh and Glasgow recorded some of their deepest snow on record during the Beast from the East, to then be followed by the warmest weather on record.
The UK record was 36.7C in 1911, which stood for 79 years when 37.1C was recorded in 1990. That record stood for 13 years and broken by the high of 38.1C in 2003.
We only had to wait another 16 years to go even higher, with 38.7C in 2019, and it’s possible that record may only have lasted for 3 years if it goes this weekend.
Even if the record is not broken, to come this close so soon after the last record is quite shocking.
In Scotland, the jet stream has stayed a lot closer to us, and thankfully, or maybe not for some of you, that’s kept us protected from this summer’s extremes.
I actually think our highest temperatures here this week will be today with peaks around 26C in Moray. And at the weekend the models showing the high 30s for southern England and our temperatures peaking in the mid 20s in the Borders.
So it looks like our record of 33C recorded in 2003 is safe, for now…
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