Northern Ireland set to swelter amid mini-heatwave with temperatures forecast to his 31C by 6pm today – but GB set to roast with temperatures more akin to Saudi Arabia than Britain

Today and tomorrow are going to see such extreme heat in parts of the UK that people across much of the nation are being encouraged not to travel.

By Adam Kula
Monday, 18th July 2022, 10:39 am

In London, temperatures are still forecast to reach in excess of 40C during either today, tomorrow, or both – an unprecedented occurence.

Until now, the UK’s record temperature was 38.7C, recorded on July 25, 2019, in Cambridge.

The heatwave today and tomorrow was formally classed as a ‘national emergency’ on Friday. According to something called the Heatwave Plan for England drawn up by the Health Security Agency, there are four levels of alert – with Level 4 being a “national emergency”.


It states: “At this level, illness and death may occur among the fit and healthy, and not just in high‑risk groups.”

To put that into perspective, the average July tempurature in Riyadh – the desert-bound capital of Saudi Arabia – is 37C (according to

Or to put it another way, the highest temperature of the past week in Death Valley’s Furnace Creek – the hottest place on Earth – was 49C (same source).



As of this morning, the Met Office predicts highs of around 29C in mid-Co Armagh and Belfast by later afternoon, whilst its Irish sister agency Met Eireann says temperatures could hit 31C in north Armagh by 6pm (see video).

On Friday the Met Office had been predicting that there was a chance NI’s record (31.3C at Derrylin last July 21) could be broken tomorrow.

But now Met Office forecaster Jonathan Vautrey said it is slightly less likely that the all-time Northern Irish temperature record will be broken, and that the peak is due to come today, not tomorrow.

“I think whilst it will be very warm, at the minute we’re expecting high 20s for Northern Ireland – maybe a bit shy of that all-time record,” he said.

Still, today and much of tomorrow are expected to be scorchers for Ulster, before cloud begins moving in from the west during tomorrow afternoon, bringing the temperatures down slightly.

And even if the all-time record is not forecast to be broken, the Met Office anticipates today will be the hottest day of the year so far for the Province, beating the top spot so far of 27.4C recorded at 3.50pm in Derrylin yesterday.


In England Cabinet Office minister Kit Malthouse urged people not to travel and Avanti West Coast and Transport for London(among others) are also urging passengers not to travel unless it is absolutely necessary.

Ministers held a virtual Cobra meeting on Saturday about the high temperatures; such high-level meetings are typically convened to deal with things like terror threats.

Met Office meteorologist Jonathan Vautrey told the News Letter last night that the current heatwave is linked to global warming.

He said that at present, humans have warmed the globe by about 1C above pre-industrial levels on average, leading to localised anomalies.

“We’ve seen out of the 10 hottest days recorded in the UK so far, seven of those have been since the start of the 21st century,” he said.

“And it’s very likely we’re going to add two more on to that over Monday and Tuesday.”

Climate attribution scientist at the Met Office, Dr Nikos Christidis, said that “we hoped we wouldn’t get to this situation [but] in a recent study we found that the likelihood of extremely hot days in the UK has been increasing and will continue to do so during the course of the century”.

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