Extreme heat for much of the UK
An Amber Extreme heat warning, issued by the Met Office, has come into force today.
The Extreme heat warning is in place until Sunday and covers much of the southern half of England as well as parts of eastern Wales, highlighting the potential impacts these levels of heat can have on health, transport and infrastructure.
Thanks to the influence of high pressure positioned over the UK the heat will continue to build through the rest of week, peaking over the weekend. Although we will see the mid-30s Celsius, especially within the warning area, temperatures are not expected to be as extreme as those experienced in July when new national records were set.
Heatwave criteria is being met, with temperatures widely into the high 20s Celsius low 30s Celsius across England. Scotland and Northern Ireland could reach official heatwave criteria by Saturday.
Met Office Chief Meteorologist Andy Page said: “Persistent high pressure over the UK means temperatures have been rising day-on-day through this week and it is important people plan for the heat. Temperatures are expected to peak at 35C on Friday and possibly 36C over the weekend.
“We will also see increasingly warm nights, with temperatures expected not to drop below the low 20s Celsius for some places in the south.”
“Temperatures will drop early next week as the weather becomes more changeable. Heavy showers and thunderstorms are likely in some areas, but there is low confidence in the details at this time and it is impossible to say yet exactly where and when they will occur”.
Mark Hardingham, Chair of the National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) said “The increase in temperatures has seen fire services respond to a large number of fire and water rescue incidents. Many are preventable so we are asking the public to take steps to ensure they are keeping themselves and their communities safe.
“In this heat please don’t use barbecues when out in the countryside or at local parks. Be careful not 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.
“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. ”
Heat Health Alert
The UK Health Security Agency has issued a Level 3 Heat Health Alert, which is designed to help healthcare professional manage through periods of extreme weather. The Alert is in force from Tuesday through to Sunday, with the UKHSA advising people to look out for vulnerable people, including older people, young children and those with underlying health conditions.
Dr Agostinho Sousa, Head of Extreme Events and Health Protection at the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), said: “Temperatures will feel very warm again this week, particularly in southern and central parts of the country.
“We want everyone to enjoy the warm weather safely when it arrives, but remember that heat can have a fast impact on health.
“It’s important to ensure that people who are more vulnerable – elderly people who live alone and people with underlying health conditions – are prepared for coping during the hot weather.
“The most important advice is to ensure they stay hydrated, keep cool and take steps to prevent their homes from overheating.”
National Highways Head of Road Safety, Jeremy Phillips said: “It is always very important to plan ahead for your journey and this advice remains the same during periods of hot weather. When hot weather is forecast, please remember to take plenty of drinking water with you – enough for you and your passengers. You can visit our website to find out more information about travelling during hot weather.
“We also advise everyone should check their vehicles, such as tyres, coolant and oil levels, before heading out.”
Dr. Justine Shotton, President, British Veterinary Association, said: “Whilst it’s wonderful to make the most of the warm weather, please don’t forget to give some extra attention to pets, many of whom may struggle as the temperature rises. Animals need extra care during the summer to keep them safe from heat-related illnesses such as heatstroke, heart conditions, breathing difficulties and sunburn, many of which can sadly be fatal.
“Make sure animals have access to fresh drinking water, good ventilation and shade from direct sunlight at all times. Dogs especially can overheat easily, so make sure they aren’t walked or exercised in the hottest parts of the day or left inside a hot car or conservatory for even a little while. Keep an eye out for early signs of heatstroke, such as heavy panting, drooling, restlessness, and lack of coordination and contact a vet immediately in case you have any concerns.”
Water UK’s Director of Communications Peter Jenkins, said: “Water companies are already managing the unprecedented effects of the driest winter and spring since the 1970s, and with more hot, dry weather forecast, it’s crucial we be even more mindful of our water use to minimise spikes in demand and ensure there’s enough to go around.
“Even small changes can have a significant impact. Our Water’s Worth Saving campaign provides with helpful hints and tips on how reduce water use in the home and garden.”