THE last bank holiday before Christmas is around the corner – but will we see another round of the glorious heatwave we’ve been experiencing this summer?
Here’s the latest forecast to help you plan for the weekend – come rain or shine.
There will be a mixture of sunshine and showers[/caption]
What caused the heatwave in the UK?
Back to back high-pressure systems – which bring settled weather – had been long lingering over our islands.
Hot temperatures are not uncommon in Britain during summer, but usually, it is mixed in with cooler and wetter days as unsettled weather fronts move in from the Atlantic.
This is because the jet stream – strong winds high in the sky from west to east – shift about.
If it is north of the UK and Ireland then hot weather can result.
If it moves down over the country, that means low-pressure systems (wet and mild) are sucked our way.
But this summer the jet stream has been jammed to the north of the UK and Ireland.
This creates the conditions for high pressure to develop – and that means hot and dry weather.
As August began this year, a dangerously hot African plume began to make its way across Iberia.
How did our heatwave compare to other hot places around the world?
While many Brits get uncomfortable working in 30C heats and commuting on sweaty tubes – our summers are still relatively mild compared to others.
In North Africa and the Middle East temperatures regularly exceed 50C in the summer.
Sudan in East Africa is one of the hottest places on Earth, with temperatures of more than 55C and very little rain a feature of life in a country horribly blighted by war and poverty.
Will the heatwave return to Britain?
Previous reports suggested Britain could bask in a 30C heatwave until October but, for this bank holiday, it looks unlikely to be a scorcher.
Forecasts for that day point to a typically British mix of sunshine and showers for many across Britain with highs of around 19C for London and 15C in the North.
A North/South split will roughly divide the country — with more rain and wind in the North and sunnier spells in the South.
This will be the case throughout the long weekend as parts of the North West especially face heavy showers at times.
Even torrents of hail will thrash northern areas including Scotland, the North of England, Northern Wales and Northern Ireland during unsettled weekend conditions.
High temperatures will struggle to get above the mid-teens Celsius.
Further South will see more settled weather with lighter winds and longer stretches of sunshine.
But it will still be cooler, with temperatures hovering around 19C to 20C from Saturday to Monday in the South East.
How long did the heatwave last?
The UK has been experiencing hot weather since April.
But the last summer heatwave began on June 23 and lasted all July.
A few days of rain in August didn’t do much to restore green to grass in the south of England, with lawns and parks still looking rather brown and frazzled.
latest on the severe weather
Is this a record breaking year?
The UK could be about to record its hottest summer ever, eclipsing the legendary heatwave of 1976.
The Met Office have just released interim figures which suggest the summer of 2018 – the months of June, July and August – will enter the record books for one reason or another.
Twelve years ago, Britain recorded its warmest summer since records began in 1910, if you use the calculation of the ‘mean’ temperature, a combination of the day-time and night-time highs.
In 2006, the mean temperature at this stage in the summer was 16.1C (61F), exactly the same as it is now.
The final figure for 2006 was 15.8C (60F), which means if we continue at the same rate until the end of this month, a new record will have been established.
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