Heatwave 2020: will we get scorching weather this summer?

Is a heatwave coming, and how should we preparing ourselves and our gardens?

heatwave: garden with plants at sunset
(Image credit: Future)

Hoping for a heatwave this May? While social distancing rules remain in place, at least we can now spend an unlimited time outdoors, which will be welcome news for sun worshippers. 

For others, however, news of a heatwave will mean buying a new fan (take a look at our pick of the best fans) and thinking hard about ways to protect their plants from drought and scorching sun. 

So, love it or hate it, is a heatwave coming our way this month?

  • Find lots of garden ideas at our hub page, including for keeping your garden looking good during a heatwave

According to the Met Office, yes – we can expect a period of fine, dry weather that's hot in places from the 20th May onwards and possible into the first week of June. 

The official forecast is pretty confident in predicting warmer-than-average weather, although this doesn't necessarily mean hot weather throughout late May and beyond. After all, a heatwave is technically nothing more than a period of weather with warmer-than-average temperatures for three consecutive days.  

There's also a good chance that any hot spells will be interspersed with thunderstorms and heavy rain in some places. 

One thing we will say is that even if it doesn't get Mediterranean where you live, it's a good idea to invest in a garden parasol this time of year. Even though it's not currently hot, the lunchtime UV index on a sunny day in May is seven or even eight out of 11 – that's very strong sun that you should protect yourself from if you're out in the garden during lunch.

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Anna is a professional writer with many years of experience. She has a passion for contemporary home decor and gardening. She covers a range of topics, from practical advice to interior and garden design.