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British meteorologists and water companies are issuing warnings as extreme heatwaves loom

#British #meteorologists #water #companies #issuing #warnings #extreme #heatwaves #loom

Britain’s meteorological agency issued an “amber” extreme heat warning on Tuesday, while the country’s biggest water utility said restrictions are looming as Britain braces for another punishing heatwave later this week.

The Met Office’s warning, which covers much of southern England and parts of east Wales from Thursday to Sunday, predicts the possible impact of the heat on health, transport and infrastructure.

Temperatures are expected to soar into the mid-30s for several days, sources said.

The muggy conditions come just weeks after the latest heatwave pushed mercury above 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit) for the first time in the UK.

Climate scientists overwhelmingly agree that carbon emissions from humans burning fossil fuels are heating the planet and increasing the risk and severity of droughts, heat waves and other extreme weather events.

“Thanks to ongoing high pressure over the UK, temperatures are set to rise day by day this week and an extreme heat warning has been issued,” Dan Rudman, the Met Office’s deputy chief meteorologist, said in a statement.

Months of exceptionally dry weather across England are taking their toll and Thames Water – which supplies London and the surrounding area – is the latest water utility to warn of impending restrictions.

The company said it plans to enact a so-called hosepipe ban in the coming weeks “given the long-term forecast” of hot and dry weather for the Southeast.

Several other UK water utilities announced similar moves ahead of this week’s heatwave, but Thames Water’s 15million customers would make it the most impactful to date.

The Met Office has confirmed it was the driest July in England since 1935, and little or no rain is forecast for most parched areas in the short term.

“Water companies are already coping with the unprecedented impact of the driest winter and spring since the 1970s,” said Water UK’s Peter Jenkins, who represents the industry.

“With hotter and drier weather forecasts projected, it’s crucial that we pay even more attention to our water use to minimize demand spikes and ensure there is enough water.”

The parched conditions have meant wildfires have broken out near homes, including on the outskirts of London, a relatively rare occurrence in the UK.

In neighboring France, a “historic” drought, currently being exacerbated by a third extreme heatwave this summer, has led to a spate of wildfires nationwide, as well as water restrictions being ordered in nearly all 96 mainland departments.

According to the European Union’s satellite monitoring service EFFIS, more than 47,000 hectares have already burned in France this year, including a record amount in July alone.

More than 3,000 people, including holidaymakers, were evacuated in the southern French region of Aveyron on Tuesday when a fire swept through at least 700 hectares of vegetation without causing injuries.

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