Terrifying map shows UK turning to desert as heatwave grips entire country

Terrifying new satellite images show a map of Britain slowly turning into a desert-like landscape amid the ongoing heatwave.

Today (Thursday, August 11) the Met Office issued an amber "extreme heat" warning, in place until Sunday (August 14) and covering much of the southern half of England as well as parts of Wales.

Met Office Chief Meteorologist Andy Page has warned that temperatures could reach 36C this weekend, with the national forecaster also raising its Fire Severity Index to its highest level for southern England.

READ MORE: UK summer branded 'scary' by Met Office boss as we must brace for fires 36C heatwave

The almost unprecedented conditions – in what is the UK's driest July since 1935 – have scorched the country, as evidenced by a map shared by James Cheshire, professor of geographic information and cartography at University College London’s geography department.

Satellite images show that much of England's greenery has turned beige, yellow and even black in places.

"The parched landscape is unlike anything I’ve seen before and a cloud free day today (August 10) has revealed the true extent of the drought," Cheshire said in a post on his website.

"The South East has gone from green to yellow and now almost black such is the intensity of the drought.

"With no significant rain in the forecast and more intense heat in the coming days, it's an image that is only going to get more shocking as the summer wears on."

In total 64% of land in the EU and United Kingdom is currently under a drought warning or alert, according to data from the European Drought Observatory.

The renewal of heatwave conditions has also seen the return of wildfires in Europe, with 10,000 people now having been forced from their homes near the French city of Bordeaux.

Mark Hardingham, Chair of the National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC), issued a warning to Brits as things heat up again.

He said: "In this heat please don’t use barbecues when out in the countryside or at local parks. Be careful not to discard cigarettes without making sure they are fully stubbed out and don't drop litter. In these tinder dry conditions it is very easy for a fire to start and spread quickly.

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"Rivers, lakes and other water can still be very cold even in this hot weather. Jumping in for a swim can lead to cold water shock and accidental drowning, regardless of swimming ability. Unfortunately, this year we have seen a number of fatalities.

"If you see a fire in the open, even a small one, or someone in trouble in the water call 999 and ask for the fire service so we can respond quickly, but we urge people to help us prevent incidents, so we all remain safe."

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