Met Office: Glastonbury thunderstorms ‘likely’ as hot and humid weather arrives

 Met Office: Glastonbury thunderstorms ‘likely’ as hot and humid weather arrives

With Glastonbury just days away and temperatures set to rise, the Met Office has warned thunderstorms could hit the festival, with the highest risk when campers arrive on Wednesday.

A spokesperson for the Met Office told TheFestivals there is a “risk of thunderstorms across a wide swathe of England and Wales from Sunday afternoon. It’s likely that Glastonbury will see thunderstorm activity during the week, especially on Wednesday.”

Eastern parts of the UK could see temperatures exceeding 30°C by Thursday, with experts uncertain how much of this heat will spread west to Glastonbury.

Anyone inside a tent during a thunderstorm is advised to stay away from any metal poles. The Met Office said: “If you find yourself in an exposed location it may be advisable to squat close to the ground, with hands on knees and with head tucked between them. Try to touch as little of the ground with your body as possible, do not lie down on the ground”

If you feel the hair on your head stand on end during a thunderstorm, you could be at immediate risk of a direct lightning strike. If this happens, drop to the position described above immediately.

The leading Met Office climate scientist Professor Richard Betts said today: “The world has warmed by more than 0.5°C since the 1st Glastonbury Festival in 1970. Temperatures in Somerset rose by 0.75°C. Atmospheric carbon dioxide rose from 325 ppm in 1970 to over 410 ppm this year.”

Professor Betts, who was awarded an MBE earlier this month in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List, will be hosting a climate Q&A in Glastonbury’s Green Fields area at 3pm each day.

Deputy Chief Meteorologist at the Met Office, Laura Ellam, said: “With this hot and humid weather there is the potential for severe thunderstorms developing, bringing the risk of torrential downpours, hail, flash flooding and gusty winds.”

“We are carefully monitoring the situation and will update any National Severe Weather Warnings as confidence in where the greatest impacts from the thunderstorms and heavy rain increases.”

The Met Office provides a forecast for Glastonbury Festival on a dedicated page of their website. They’ll also be mentioning the festival in their video forecasts and on social media.

During thunderstorms, festivals can decide to shut off all electrical power on site for safety reasons. When this happened at Glastonbury 2014, Beans on Toast continued his set without any amplification.

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Image credit: Andrew Allcock / Glastonbury Festival