The previous day was tentatively declared the warmest of the year, with a scorching 32.6°C observed in Wisley, Surrey. This surpassed the earlier record for the year set in June at 32.2°C. This ongoing heatwave has already shattered the record for the most successive days in September with temperatures exceeding 30°C.
This phenomenon is accompanied by the Saharan dust, which is producing breathtaking sunsets and sunrises in the pristine conditions.
Thursday marked the fourth day with temperatures above 30°C, surpassing the previous record of three days, which was last observed in 2016.
Simon Partridge, a meteorologist from the Met Office, commented, "If we continue to see 30°C until Sunday, which seems very likely, that will be six consecutive days hitting 30°C."
The heatwave has prompted concerns, especially for the elderly and those with respiratory or cardiovascular ailments. The UK Health Security Agency has issued an amber warning effective until Sunday evening for almost all regions in England, with a yellow heat alert for the north east.
Despite the scorching temperatures, the Met Office has forecasted potential heavy thundery showers across England and Wales on Sunday, though the temperatures are expected to remain elevated. Night temperatures are also predicted to stay high, making it uncomfortable for many. Partridge added, "The most significant impact currently is the overnight temperatures. In some areas of south-west England and Wales, temperatures didn't fall below 19°C, making it very warm and humid."
The weekend is expected to witness even higher temperatures, possibly reaching up to 33°C on Saturday. The Met Office highlighted the unusual weather pattern on their social media platform, stating that the current day was potentially the hottest of the year with 32.60°C recorded in Wisley.
London's Mayor, Sadiq Khan, has initiated an emergency severe weather response for the city to assist the homeless and ensure their safety during this heatwave. This protocol is typically activated during freezing conditions but was also employed during the 2022 heatwave when temperatures in the UK reached a staggering 40°C.
The heatwave's cause is attributed to tropical storms pushing a high-pressure system over the UK. This has shifted the jet stream northward, forming an omega blocking pattern, resulting in torrential rains in Spain and Greece but clear, hot conditions for the UK and central Europe.
The Met Office anticipates this weather pattern to persist until the beginning of next week, with a potential shift in conditions thereafter. However, the latter half of September is expected to remain predominantly dry, with temperatures likely staying above average for the season.