Heat

World Weather Review: June 2017

In Arizona, USA, an ongoing heat wave has seen some of the highest temperatures ever recorded. Temperatures in Death Valley reached 54°C and flights to Phoenix were cancelled when airport temperatures reached 48°C. The heat wave has led to wild fires.

High temperatures across southern Europe have also caused problems – Portugal and Spain in particular have been tackling forest fires to which they were vulnerable after a dry winter and spring.

Heat Stress

Heat stress occurs when the body’s means of controlling its internal temperature starts to fail. Some cultures have adapted to avoid heat stress – the Mediterranean siesta signals a work break during the hottest part of the day, or in the tropics where work begins earlier, ends later and is carried out at a slower pace. Heat stress is not something we experience very often in the UK, especially after recent summers, but if we do experience a heatwave – a prolonged spell when daytime and overnight temperatures are elevated and humidity is high - we need to be prepared.