While South Africans continue to enjoy a moderate winter with temperatures ranging between 15 and 26 degrees across the country, the people of the United Kingdom (UK) are sweating through a sweltering heatwave in the Northern Hemisphere.
For the first time, temperatures of 40 degrees have been predicted in the UK for Monday and Tuesday, prompting a Red Warning and an Amber warning from the Met Office, UK’s national weather service. Red and Amber warnings are issued to prepare citizens for harmful weather-related impacts on people and infrastructure.
“The extreme temperatures that we have been forecasting are now beginning to build and it is likely that today we will see values reach into the high 30s, possibly challenging the UK record of 38.7 degrees set in July 2019.
“Even higher maximum temperatures will develop tomorrow with a 70% chance of somewhere in England exceeding 40 degrees. A value of this level would exceed the current UK record by 1.3 degrees or more,” said Met Office Chief Meteorologist Neil Armstrong.
How are the Britons handling the heat? Definitely not like us Capetonians!
Some safety tips and advice circulating on official channels in the UK include suggestions to “stay cool indoors”, to “use cool spaces considerately if going outdoors”, to “keep out of the sun between 11am to 3pm”, to “walk in the shade, apply sunscreen and wear a wide-brimmed hat, if you have to go out in the heat”.
This is in stark contrast to how Capetonians handled “the hottest day on Earth” earlier this year. On the 22 January, Cape Town recorded the hottest temperatures on the planet.
“The maximum temperature at Table Bay was an incredible 45.2C. Previous all time record (42.4C) of Cape Town destroyed by almost 3C. We will be waiting for the confirmation of ZA Met Office about the station because the exceptionality of this event. Cape Town was the hottest place in Africa yesterday – never happened before,” said Max Hererra, climatologist and man behind Extreme Temperatures Around The World.
Capetonians definitely did not consider staying indoors an option, and instead reacted to our record-breaking heatwave by flocking to all available beaches between Table Bay and False Bay – and beyond.
The UK’s predictions aren’t that far from what we Capetonians experienced this summer, but will they heed their warning and stay out of the sun, of will they follow Cape Town’s lead and head to the beach?