The climate Thermageddonites got their U.K. heat record of 40°C in the end, courtesy of a measuring device in Coningsby, Lincolnshire. The BBC noted on Radio 4 last night that the record temperature arose in the “village” but co-ordinates on the Met Office site place the device halfway down the runway at RAF Coningsby, home of two squadrons of frontline, combat ready squadrons and a training base for Typhoon pilots. In joint second place, perhaps to nobody’s great surprise, was Heathrow, one of the busiest airports in the world.
The last two days in England were very hot, probably the hottest for over 100 years, although the possible distortions caused by urban heat (and jet afterburners!) need to be taken into account in the surface record. On the Radio 4 late news, BBC meteorologist Ben Rich explained that the heat was caused by southerly winds bringing hot air from the Sahara. The wind direction then changed to the west, and by the time he spoke on Tuesday evening, the rain was falling in London and the temperature had plunged 20°C. This of course was the sound scientific reason for the high temperatures, although science was laid to one side at the end when Rich said it “feels like a tipping point”.
In a similar emotional outburst, the serial Covid lockdown campaigner Piers Morgan told his audience on TalkTV that if we are not very careful, “we are heading for an apocalypse”. Also signed onto the apocalypse theme was London Mayor Sadiq Khan. He pulled the ‘things were much colder in the old days’ line, by telling Nick Robinson on Wednesday’s Today programme that when he was growing up, “you had heatwaves every 20 years”.