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A heatwave is on the way, thanks to something called a Spanish Plume

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David Cornish
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Don't go packing away those shorts and boaters just yet - August is about to get hot. Gloriously hot. 

The Met Office is forecasting temperatures of 30 degrees Celsius in the south of England for a heatwave that could get underway from 15 August, all due to something called a 'Spanish Plume'. 

But what the heck is a Spanish Plume, and why does it result in Ibiza-level temperatures? 

  • A heatwave is on the way, thanks to something called a Spanish Plume

    What's a Spanish Plume?

    "‘Spanish Plume’ is actually a rather catchy name for a rather complex meteorological phenomenon which leads to warm conditions and heavy showers or thunderstorms over parts of the UK and north-west Europe," explains Ewen McCallum, former Met Office Chief Meteorologist.

  • A heatwave is on the way, thanks to something called a Spanish Plume 1

    What weather does a Spanish Plume give us?

    In short: super hot, clammy weather, and epic thunderstorms.

    "As the name suggests, it is a plume of very warm air that pushes north from the Spanish plateau and reaches the British Isles on a southerly airflow," says McCallum. "Of course over the UK we are normally affected by much cooler Atlantic air as cold fronts encroach from the west. Now when these two air masses meet, the very warm ‘plume’ air is forced to rise vigorously over the cooler Atlantic air and as a result produces thunderstorms. Because these features can cover large areas the storms are often grouped together and can give widespread, heavy rainfall, often accompanied by hail."

  • A heatwave is on the way, thanks to something called a Spanish Plume 2

    So just how hot is it going to get? And when?

    For the week starting 15 August, things are going to get hot, and then wet, with potential for thunderstorms. 

    "Temperatures rise from Friday with 27C possible, and we’re looking at the low 30s for southern England by Tuesday and Wednesday," Met Office spokesman Graham Madge told The Mirror. "Around 32C is expected at the moment - although there may be even warmer air coming our way from Iberia."

    But a quick look at the recently updated Met Office website is now saying things are "changeable". If you live in the south, expect things to be muggy. In the north, don't go out without a coat. Same as normal then...

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David Cornish

Shortlist.com’s esteemed Tech Editor. David has a keen interest in video games, Star Wars and stuff that runs on batteries.

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