Heatwave could give UK earliest autumn in 20 years, say forecasters

·1-min read
Heatwave could give UK earliest autumn in 20 years, say forecasters

Extreme temperatures and a lack of rain mean the UK is experiencing the earliest signs of autumn in 20 years.

Trees have begun to drop their leaves, and berries are ripening weeks ahead of schedule amid the record temperatures.

The Met Office has already said drought status could be confirmed in the UK if dry weather continues after only 15.8mm of rain had fallen in July by Wednesday. This is the lowest since just 13.4mm fell in 1911.

London and the south-east are not expected to get rain in the next few days.

UK Weather: Summer Heatwave 2022

]A young girl rides her inflatable pelican in the sea at Fistral Beach (Getty Images)
]A young girl rides her inflatable pelican in the sea at Fistral Beach (Getty Images)
Sunrise  over London (Jeremy Selwyn)
Sunrise over London (Jeremy Selwyn)
A man cools off in a fountain during the hot weather in London (REUTERS)
A man cools off in a fountain during the hot weather in London (REUTERS)
scorchedsummer22a: People look out toward the Old Royal Naval College, and the Canary Wharf financial district, past the sun-scorched grass in Greenwich Park, south east London (AFP via Getty Images)
scorchedsummer22a: People look out toward the Old Royal Naval College, and the Canary Wharf financial district, past the sun-scorched grass in Greenwich Park, south east London (AFP via Getty Images)
People enjoy the hot weather at Hathersage open air swimming pool at Hope Valley, near Sheffield (PA)
People enjoy the hot weather at Hathersage open air swimming pool at Hope Valley, near Sheffield (PA)
The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall during a visit to the fishing village of Mousehole in Penzance, Cornwal (PA)
The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall during a visit to the fishing village of Mousehole in Penzance, Cornwal (PA)
Three swimmers pictured keeping cool with a swim at Beckenham Place Park, Kent (Daniel Hambury/Stella Pictures Ltd)
Three swimmers pictured keeping cool with a swim at Beckenham Place Park, Kent (Daniel Hambury/Stella Pictures Ltd)
People take pictures of the sunset from Greenwich Park (REUTERS)
People take pictures of the sunset from Greenwich Park (REUTERS)
Dry fields of grassland near Perranporth, Cornwall (PA)
Dry fields of grassland near Perranporth, Cornwall (PA)
A police officer poring water water on a police horse on Whitehall (PA)
A police officer poring water water on a police horse on Whitehall (PA)
People jump into the sea at Brighton, (AFP via Getty Images)
People jump into the sea at Brighton, (AFP via Getty Images)

Autumn doesn’t officially begin until September 1. However, heatwaves - such as the one felt in 2003 - can give the impression of a change of season, with leaves falling from trees.

Fritha West, from the Woodland Trust, told the Telegraph: “The record-breaking heat we have just experienced has helped bring on a number of early autumn events.

“We have received some of our earliest ever ripe blackberry records from the south of England. Hawthorn and rowan are also ripening early in some parts of the country, where early leaf tinting has also been observed.”

England has already experienced its driest eight-month period since 1976 and the conditions are expected to have a severe knock on effect for food production.

Despite this, Anglia Water has said there is no immediate need for a hosepipe ban, with the country’s water supplies in “reasonable shape”.

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