The MET has reported that the UK’s Heatwaves are lasting twice as long as 50 years ago, common ice days are disappearing, and tropical nights are starting to occur in the North East, according to a Met Office report.
This is the first study of climate extremes in the UK from the government agency that the longer-term trend behind this summer’s prolonged spell of high temperatures and decreasing winter frosts.
Mark McCarthy, the National Climate Information Centre, manager, said: “Monthly, seasonal and annual climate data provide a valuable record of the changing climate in the UK. However, these average figures have a tendency to mask extreme weather and climate events. So in our latest report we have focussed on those measures which record weather extremes.”
The MET office is for the first time measuring when the minimum night time temperatures remain above 20C. These night time temperatures were almost non-existent until very recently. Even during the hot summer of 1976 nights like these were never recorded, which are a particular concern for the elderly and infirm. These tropical nights have started to be recorded in London, Kent, the Isle of Wight and even occasionally in Wales and the north-east since 1995.
McCarthy said tropical nights were still very rare but he expected them to occur more frequently in the future. “With projections in climate suggesting warmer temperatures, it is useful to have this metric in place so that future changes can be monitored.”
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