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Met Office
Green Britain in May. Scorched Britain in July.
SHADES OF BROWN

Satellite images reveal the true extent of damage the UK’s heatwave has caused

By Akshat Rathi in London

The United Kingdom and Ireland have been suffering unusually dry and hot weather for the past two months. It’s expected to be the longest heatwave since 1976.

In June, some regions in the UK received merely 6% of the expected rainfall. The upshot is scorched grass that’s visible from space (as the image above shows).

Though some have welcomed the unusually warm and cloud-free weather as school holidays begin, many others are suffering. Northern Ireland instated a ban hosepipes and sprinklers in June. A similar ban is expected to come into effect in the northwest of England on Aug. 5. The heatwave has also been blamed for fires that raged across northwest England in June.

Met Office, the UK’s national weather service, has warned that the heatwave will continue for some time. It has also issued health warnings as some parts of the country could hit 34°C (about 93°F) this coming week, breaking the 2018 record of 33°C (about 91°F) on June 28.

Human-caused climate change is expected to make such heatwaves more frequent (pdf), according to the Met Office. Expect more records to be broken.

Akshat Rathi
Senior reporter
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