You can't help but have noticed the lack of rain in many areas over the last 10-12 weeks. It's even changed the way the UK looks from space! pic.twitter.com/T4Cjm8GMH3— Met Office (@metoffice) July 18, 2018
This week has been especially sweaty. On Thursday, temperatures hit 96.8 degrees in London. It's so hot that train routes were temporarily shuttered over fears the tracks would buckle. So-called Furnace Friday is supposed to be even hotter, hitting 101 degrees.
And experts say the heat will last at least through early August. The Heat Health Watch Service, run by the Met Office and Public Health England, has issued a warning, urging people to stay inside and drink plenty of fluids. Prime Minister Theresa May has urged people to stay out of the sun through Friday, when temperatures are expected to hit 93 degrees.
The weather has been so hot and dry that it has turned Britain from green to brown. Satellite images released by the Met Office, Britain's national weather service, show just how dramatically the weather has changed the country's topography.
Updated Satellite images of Ireland showing the forty shades of green turning to shades of brown as #Drought continues with no rain in many areas since the 20th of June. Images from 24th June, 3rd and 10th of July during #Heatwave pic.twitter.com/EVqg9UbfSf— Carlow Weather (@CarlowWeather) July 10, 2018
In addition to browned fields and crop damage, the warm, dry weather has been blamed for wildfires in northwestern England and a ban on sprinklers in Ireland.
There have been some unexpected upsides. The dry conditions exposed a “drowned village” in a reservoir in Dartmoor, Devon. The valley was flooded in 1898, experts say, submerging village walls, a farmhouse and a bridge. In Wales, researchers uncovered an early medieval cemetery and a prehistoric Roman farm. The Independent newspaper described it as a “gold rush” and “near-unprecedented bonanza” for archaeologists.
A report from Britain's Met Office suggests that climate change will make heat waves more frequent and severe.