Last reviewed 20 July 2021

The Met Office has issued its first ever Amber Extreme Heat Warning, as temperatures rise to record levels across large parts of the UK this week.

The extreme heat warning, which is issued in consultation with public health partners across the UK, covers all of southwest England, parts of southern and central England and a large part of Wales.

Much of the UK has been in heatwave conditions in recent days, but temperatures are expected to climb further early this week, possibly reaching 33°C in some western areas.

The Met has not specifically linked this week’s extreme weather to climate change, but studies of a similar heatwave in July 2019 was “about ten times more likely” because of climate change.

Coverage in the Telegraph today reports on extreme weather events happening on four separate continents on the same day. As temperatures rose over parts of the UK, unprecedented flooding was happening across parts of Europe, with Russia, China, New Zealand and the US, reporting record temperatures, forest fires and intense flooding across many areas at the same time.

On the intense flooding in parts of Europe, the premier of North Rhine-Westphalia, Armin Laschet, said climate change was largely responsible for the flooding in Germany. Speaking to the BBC Armin said, "we will be faced with such events over and over, and that means we need to speed up climate protection measures...because climate change isn't confined to one state”.

Experts say that climate change is expected to increase the frequency of extreme weather events but linking any single event to global warming is complicated.

Back in the UK, Met Office Chief Operational Meteorologist Steven Ramsdale said, “the high temperatures are going to continue through a large part of this week. Many areas will continue to reach heatwave thresholds but the amber extreme heat warning focusses on western areas where the most unusually high temperatures are likely to persist.”