UK heatwave: Britain’s green and pleasant land turns brown

Aerial photos show parched fields after UK receives just 47mm of rain in six weeks

Water fight in heatwave
(Image credit: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Images)

Satellite imagery has revealed how the UK’s heatwave and drought has changed its landscape

The Met Office posted the image to their Instagram account, showing the difference between satellite images taken in May and July.

The green swathe of land has turned brown and barren-looking after weeks of dry heat.

Subscribe to The Week

Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.


Sign up for The Week's Free Newsletters

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign up

The longest heatwave Britain has experienced in 42 years resulted in “just 47mm of rainfall between 1 June and 16 July”, reports The Independent.

Some parts of the country were much drier. Essex had 1.7 mm of rainfall, Dorset 2.0 mm and Middlesex only 0.7 mm, making June provisionally the driest on record, according to the Met Office.

This lack of rain is expected to continue well into August, “prompting a hosepipe ban in the northwest of England, which is the first in the country since 2012”, says HuffPost.

Martin Padley of United Utilities said: “Despite some recent rainfall, reservoir levels are still lower than we would expect at this time of year and, with forecasters predicting a return to hot, dry weather for the rest of July, we are now at a point where we will need to impose some temporary restrictions on customers.”

The UK could record its hottest ever summer if above-average temperatures continue. Even if the rest of the summer is average, it will “certainly rank in the top ten warmest summers on record,” the Met Office said.

But a spokesman added: “It is important to remember we are only half way through the season, and a lot can change.”

Some showers are expected next week, before heatwave conditions return.

But a new warning has been issued “ahead of another 33C (91F) sizzler expected to last a fortnight”, says The Sun.

To continue reading this article...
Continue reading this article and get limited website access each month.
Get unlimited website access, exclusive newsletters plus much more.
Cancel or pause at any time.
Already a subscriber to The Week?
Not sure which email you used for your subscription? Contact us