While Aussies like to mock Brits over their struggle to handle summer temperatures, their despair may be justified next week as temperatures could surpass 40C.
Such a forecast has triggered the UK's first ever Red Extreme heat warning for what the Met Office called "unprecedented" temperatures.
The warning includes the major cities of London, Birmingham and Manchester and coincides with the start of the school summer holidays.
National record temperatures are likely to be broken on Monday or Tuesday, where the previous record of 38.7C could be easily surpassed by the 41C forecast at Heathrow Airport.
Professor Penny Endersby, chief executive at the Met Office, warned this is unknown territory for the UK, saying many do not know how to act safely in such temperatures.
“Here in the UK we're used to treating a hot spell as a chance to go and play in the sun. This is not that sort of weather. Our lifestyles and our infrastructure are not adapted to what is coming," she warned.
England's residents have been told to treat the weather event like a storm warning.
The nation's health system, the NHS, is expected to be stretched further as the Covid-19 pandemic continues to engulf resources.
Experts are warning the extreme heat could claim up to 2,000 lives, including healthy people, The Guardian reported.
Our @metoffice forecasters have issued the first ever Red Extreme heat warning for unprecedented heat across parts of the UK on Monday and Tuesday.
Please take this warning seriously and take steps to keep you and those around you safe. #heatwave pic.twitter.com/vjMUsvYtbP
— @MetOfficeCE (@metofficece) July 15, 2022
The UK Health Security Agency increased its heat health warning from level three to level four - a “national emergency”.
The heat will force some schools to close while people are urged not to travel by train as its feared the network's tracks could buckle with the temperatures. Gritters will also be on major roads laying down sand over fears the tarmac will melt.
Brits have also been told to avoid drinking alcohol or caffeine.
A now viral social media post shows next week's forecast side by side with a 2050 weather prediction, showing the effects of climate change. Both weather maps have similar temperatures, sparking concern amongst users such temperatures are arriving far earlier than expected.
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