UK heatwave: 22 things every Brit in a heatwave knows to be true

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Kayleigh Dray
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Heatwave: tips to keep room cool in a heatwave

The best memes about the UK heatwave, because it genuinely is too hot to do anything but laugh right now.

Updated on 1 June: Just in case you hadn’t noticed, it’s hot outside. Really hot. Hottest day of the year-level hot, actually; a whopping 24.6C (76.3F) was recorded in Kinloss in Scotland yesterday, according to the Met Office.

However, before you get too excited, the Met Office has warned that the good weather is expected to be short-lived.

That’s right; while temperatures are expected to climb to 27C on Wednesday, it’s predicted that they will soon dip back down again as cooler, fresher air moves in.

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Becky Mitchell, a Met Office meteorologist, said: “There will potentially be some thunderstorms by midweek, the first bout of showers will come into parts of the south-west and there will be a few thunderstorms in that.

“There’s a chance of some thundery breakdown in the south-east and we could have some quite intense storms there. There’s still a lot of uncertainty but with the warm and humid weather we are having we have the key ingredients for thunderstorms.”

As a result of this, June is unlikely to officially meet the three-day “heatwave territory”, but that hasn’t stopped people branding it as such over on social media. It’s hardly surprising, really: after all, this unprecedented spike in the mercury, compounded with last month being the wettest May on record, means that it’s fast become… 

Well, it’s fast become the only thing we’re all talking about at the moment.

Of course, every Brit worth their salt will know that a UK heatwave (official or nay) is very different to a heatwave anywhere else in the world. With that in mind, then, we’ve scoured social media for the best hot weather memes, and used them to compile a list of things that always happen when temperatures climb above 30°C.

And we mean always.

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As reported on 21 June 2020: From asking someone if they’re “a bit warm” to moaning excessively about the heat (it is a truth universally acknowledged that Brits will make every conversation about the weather), here’s hoping that these will make you laugh on this hotter-than-the-sun day…

  • At first, everyone’s excited

    People will start comparing the UK’s new climes to Los Angeles, Ibiza (always Ibiza), and Barbados. “It’s hotter than Greece,” people will say excitedly, as if a bucket of water on the balcony is anywhere near as exciting as an infinity pool in the Med. 

  • People will point out that it was ALREADY hot when they woke up


  • We will start daydreaming about BBQ food

    Nothing better than balancing a plate of salad in your lap as you chow down on your condiment-heavy burger, right?

  • But then, all of a sudden, it’s… too hot

    This happens very quickly, and you’ll know when it does because everyone will start conversations with “it’s hot, isn’t it?” instead of the usual “hello”.

  • This will, somehow, catch us all by surprise

    Despite the fact that it happens every single year. 

  • This is the point when we suddenly remember it’s not like the Med. At all.

    We don’t even have a Fanta Lemon and a bag of Lay’s to hand, let alone a turquoise ocean to sunbathe beside.

  • And we realise, as one, that the heat abroad is so much better than the heat here


  • Why? Because we don’t have breezes here

    We used to, once upon a time. We used to have rain, too. Do you remember those days? We didn’t even know we were born.

  • The general public will split into several core factions

    Which one are you?

  • Which leads to the inevitable…

    That’s right: all the Brits who were moaning about the rain/cold/grey skies will start moaning about the sunshine, too. 

  • But don’t you dare criticise us for it

    Moaning about the weather is one of our many quirks. Learn to deal. 

  • It’s the height of hilarity to ask if someone is “a bit warm?”

    Classic British banter 101.

  • Cars will become fiery hellpits

    Try to avoid touching anything with bare skin, especially the buckle on your seatbelt. Ouch.

  • Animals will start behaving oddly

    Cats will set up base by your desk fan, birds will get down ‘n’ dirty in your (usually empty) bird bath, and dogs… will do whatever it is dogs do.

  • As will our hair

    “It’s the humidity!”

  • People will develop unhealthy attachments to fans and aircon units

    Fun fact: about seven people in the UK own an aircon unit. They have cause to use it… ooh, let’s say once a year? And, yeah, they’re always pretty smug about it when they do.

  • Men will shed their clothes in public

    As Stylist’s Moya Crockett, notes: “There’s a certain type of man who literally whips his shirt off as soon as the temperature rises above 23°C. He usually also has a sunburned head.”

  • Every scrap of grass will be filled with sunbathers

    Adhering, we hope, to the current social distancing rules.

  • We will all attempt to remain as still as possible

    Movement is overrated. Also, maybe hot weather is like a T Rex? Maybe it won’t see us if we don’t move…?

  • Our bedrooms will no longer be the havens they once were…

    Especially as we’ve all been advised not to sleep with fans anymore. 

  • So forget sleeping

    Sleeping, like movement, is overrated.

  • Then, just like that, it will all be over

    Usually with a clash of thunder and a lot of rain. And, yeah, we’ll all be devastated. Because that’s how we work here in the UK, apparently.

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Kayleigh Dray

Kayleigh Dray is Stylist’s digital editor-at-large. Her specialist topics include comic books, films, TV and feminism. On a weekend, you can usually find her drinking copious amounts of tea and playing boardgames with her friends.

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