UK weather: Met Office reveals when ‘warm plume’ will bring 30C heatwave

The Met Office has predicted when the UK will get “a warm plume of air being drawn in from the south” that will bring hotter and more unsettled conditions, and will lead to the first heat-health alert of the year.

The latest weather prediction for the UK comes after reports of the arrival of an “Iberian Plume” from the Iberian Peninsula that cuts across Spain and Portugal.

The current high-pressure system that has been responsible for the recent calm weather is now moving towards Scandinavia, making way for hotter air to move, raising temperatures and introducing some thundery showers later this week and into the weekend.

While Thursday is expected to remain largely settled and a warm and sunny day for many, the transition is expected to commence on Friday, starting in the southwest.

The Met Office said a significant shift in the UK’s weather patterns will be on the horizon as the “warm plume of air from the south” is set to dominate weekend weather patterns across the country.

Temperatures are expected to reach 30C in some parts of the UK, the Met Office said, ahead of thunder expected by the end of the week.

“Temperatures will rise later this week and into the weekend, with a plume of warm air being drawn in from the south,” Met Office deputy chief meteorologist Dan Harris said.

“Temperatures over the weekend could peak around 30C in some parts of England and remain well above average during night-times.”

What is an Iberian Plume?

Iberian plume is a weather phenomenon that brings hot air from the Iberian Peninsula – that cuts across Spain and Portugal – towards the UK. It occurs when a high-pressure system over the Iberian Peninsula pushes warm air northward, resulting in elevated temperatures in the UK.

The warm air mass from the Iberian Peninsula can bring heatwaves and increase temperatures significantly, often resulting in exceptionally warm and sunny conditions in the UK during the summer months.

Eastern and northeast Scotland areas may experience more subdued temperatures due to an easterly breeze, resulting in persistent cloud cover. Coastal areas are also expected to be cooler than inland regions, as sea breezes prevent temperatures from soaring along immediate coastlines.

Residents of Devon and Cornwall, however, should brace themselves for the possibility of thundery showers as warm air from the south brings increased chances of precipitation, the forecaster said.

The risk of thundery outbreaks will gradually expand northwards and eastwards throughout the weekend, with the potential for hail and gusty winds in some areas.

Storm Oscar, named by the Spanish Meteorological Service (AEMET), will not directly impact the UK, but it will contribute to driving the warm air into southern regions, according to the forecaster.

The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) issued a Yellow Heat Health Alert in light of the impending heatwave, the first for this year.

A yellow alert means hot weather may lead to an increased use of healthcare services by vulnerable populations and an increase in risk to health for those over 65 years of age along with those who have pre-existing conditions, including respiratory and cardiovascular diseases, the UKHSA said.

The alert is currently in place from 9am on Friday 9 June to 9am on Monday 12 June, and if current forecasted temperatures are reached, it is likely that there could be some impacts across the health and social care sector.

“In the coming days we are likely to experience our first sustained period of hot weather of the year so far, so it’s important that everyone ensures they keep hydrated and cool while enjoying the sun,” said Dr Agostinho Sousa, head of extreme events and health protection at UKHSA.

“Forecasted temperatures this week will primarily impact those over the age of 65 or those with pre-existing health conditions such as respiratory and cardiovascular diseases.

Looking ahead, signals indicate that thundery downpours may persist in some areas next week, with temperatures expected to remain above average, the Met Office said.