As the UK experiences increasingly warm temperatures, a weather expert is warning people not to sit under trees in the heatwave. The UK is set to see temperatures rise to 35 degrees this week. But expert, Ian Currie, says we are at risk of having branches fall onto us, if we choose to sit under trees for shade.
The ‘summer drop’ which happens when dehydrated trees suddenly fall down or lose their branches is more common than we might think according to Currie. Mr Currie, 66, who is a fellow of the Royal Meteorological Society, has witnessed two incidents of summer drop and claims he has come across around ten fatalities in 25 years of research. He warns that summer drop occurs when temperatures reach approximately 32 degrees.
He said: “In recent years we have had bursts of hot weather and it’s more prevalent than you might think.
“When you get a burst of real heat, a large tree like an oak or sycamore can evaporate up to 100 gallons of water through their leaves.
“This causes tremendous pressure on the tree and this can cause a tree to fall down, or a large branch to fall off.”
Mr Currie added: “It is a risk. If a tree or large branch falls on you, of course it could kill you.”
The weather expert said he has encountered several incidents of ‘summer drop’ throughout his research including several deaths as a result of trees falling. Trees such as cedar and poplar are more prone to falling in the warm weather than others.
Currie claims that the chance of being killed by summer drop is “on a par” with being killed by a tree in a thunderstorm. He said: “I probably would avoid trees during hot weather.
“I would encourage children to keep away from trees in this weather, especially later on in the week, as thunderstorms are expected to follow.”