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Warning: Expect Extreme Weather Events  

UK hot weather forecast

We are only a few months into the new year, and already the UK has been battered by powerful storms, and in many places, unprecedented rainfall. It’s also been unusually warm – we experienced the mildest Valentine’s night on record, with temperatures in England not dropping below 11.5 degrees celsius. This might sound pleasant, but if we are seeing double-digits in February, what will that mean for the months that are actually supposed to be warmer? 

You may remember that last year we partnered with Professor Ed Hawkins and his team at the University of Reading’s Centre for Atmospheric Science to create localised versions of the iconic warming stripes graphics. Now, following the latest release of Met Office Data covering temperatures in 2023, we are able to release up-to-date versions covering all 379 primary council areas in the UK. What is concerning, is that for 119 of those areas (roughly a third), last year was the hottest on record. 

This ongoing shift to hotter and hotter temperatures is having a significant impact on people living right across the UK. 

As Prof Hawkins explains: 

“It might seem odd to talk about global heating when we are just coming out of a winter of storms and floods, but all these extreme weather events are interlinked. A warmer atmosphere can hold more water, which in turn creates more rainfall. It’s no coincidence that temperature records and precipitation records are getting broken left, right and centre: it’s all connected, and it all relates to the ongoing release of heat-trapping greenhouse gases from burning fossil fuels.” 

One person who has firsthand knowledge of the destruction that more powerful storms can have, is Kevin Jordan. In late 2023, his home of 14 years in Hemsby, on the Norfolk coast, was deemed unsafe and was demolished by the local council. 

“When I first moved into my property I loved listening to the gentle sound of the North Sea, but after the Beast from the East in 2018, the storms became more frequent and stronger, and I started to feel afraid when I heard the waves crashing. In November I was visited by a council officer and told I had to leave. I had nowhere to go, no family nearby and little savings, everything I had was tied up in that house. 

“I know for a fact that climate change has had a large part to play in my story. Looking at the warming stripes, the change from the blue to the very dark red since the 1800s gives a clear picture of how things are heating up; and with the experience I’ve had, I know the true impact.” 

Find out if last year was the hottest on record where you live: visit your local area page and download your warming stripes now. 

If you’d like to find out more about Kevin’s story, listen to the Carbon Copy Podcast. 

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