If you know any British person on social media, you’ll know that the United Kingdom has been experiencing an unusual bout of hot weather for the last two months with very little precipitation. The Brits are not coping well and it seems the country itself agrees. Space views showed the country go from green to yellow as grasslands dried during the heatwave.
The image was shared on Twitter by the Met Office, the United Kingdom national weather service, and compares what the British Isles looked like in May and what they looked in July.
“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!” the Met Office said in the tweet.
The UK has experienced just 47 millimeters (1.85 inches) of rain so far this summer, which makes this the driest early summer in the modern recording system, which started in 1961. The second driest summer almost occurred in 2013, with only 59 millimeters (2.3 inches) in a similar timeslot, but thanks to thunderstorms and wet days in August and September it ended up being only the 14th driest summer.
But it’s not just the lack of rainfall that is the issue. It’s the extremely hot weather for a country not used to dealing with high temperatures. Between June 1 and July 16, the average temperature was 20.9°C (69.6°F), only shy of the 1976 record for the hottest summer at 21°C (69.8°F).
The heatwave has already put summer 2018 in the top 10 list of hottest and driest, even if the rest of the summer temperatures go back to average and precipitation starts again. The British Environment Agency is currently monitoring the situation, especially with regards to water supplies. There are currently no plans for temporary use bans, although water companies should have plans in place to manage their water supplies.
“The summer started with river flow and groundwaters at normal levels in most areas, including the south-east following the rain in spring,” Paul Hickey, head of water resources for the Environment Agency, said in a press release. “A natural reduction in river flows and groundwater levels at this time of year is to be expected and water companies plan for these summer months.”