Expert reveals why hot weather in UK feels hotter than when on holiday

Asian woman drying sweat in a warm summer day
-Credit: (Image: Getty)

The weather has reached sweltering highs this week as a heatwave hits the UK. Temperatures have reached close to 30C with figures remaining high overnight across the country too.

The baking conditions have left many Brits rushing indoors and, in proper British tradition, complaining about how hot it is. Many will argue the weather in the UK during summer always feels hotter than when you're aboard.

Although the temperatures may not actually be quite as high as more exotic hotspots like Spain, Italy and Greece, there is however one crucial difference - humidity. And a NHS doctor has taken to TikTok to explain just this.

Dr Karan Rajan, who boasts of more than five million followers on the social media app, told viewers: "Why does the heat in the UK feel even hotter than when you are abroad? Excluding the fact that the British love to complain about everything, weather included, there are a few rational explanations for this temperature perception glitch."

He added: "The first is relative humidity. This is the amount of moisture in the air compared to the maximum amount of moisture the air can hold at that temperature. In the UK, the relative humidity is higher than in countries with dry heat.

"This makes it harder for our bodies to cool down because sweat doesn't evaporate as well. So, you feel hot and sticky like a roast barbecue pig.

"This is why 35C in a dry climate can feel more comfortable than 25C in a place with high relative humidity." The NHS doctor and university lecturer went on to explain how infrastructure in the UK also plays a major part in this.

"The buildings are designed to retain heat because the weather is usually cold, soggy and silly," he said. "The same insulation that helps save energy in the winter makes buildings a greenhouse in the summer, especially without air conditioning, which most UK homes don't have.

"In contrast buildings in warmer climates are designed to stay cool. Thick walls, large windows, sometimes even with shutters and coloured coating on the buildings to deflect heat."

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