The Met Office has issued an Amber Extreme heat warning with temperatures expected to build through the week.
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The Extreme heat warning, which covers much of the southern half of England as well as parts of eastern Wales, will be in force from Thursday through until the end of Sunday with impacts possible to health, transport and infrastructure.
The Extreme heat warning was issued for Thursday 0000 - Sunday 2359.
The heat will build through the week, peaking on Friday and Saturday thanks to the influence of high pressure positioned over the UK. Temperatures are likely to rise into the low-to-mid 30s Celsius for those within the warning area. However, temperatures are not expected to be as extreme as those experienced in July when new national records were set.
Outside the warning area, heatwave criteria are still likely to be met for much of the UK, with temperatures widely into the high 20s Celsius with a chance of a few spots seeing temperatures into the low 30s. Scotland and Northern Ireland will also see temperatures into the high 20s and could reach official heatwave criteria by Friday.
Met Office Deputy Chief Meteorologist Dan Rudman said: “Thanks to persistent high pressure over the UK, temperatures will be rising day-on-day through this week and an Extreme heat warning has been issued.
“Temperatures are expected to peak at 35C on Friday and Saturday, or even an isolated 36C on Saturday. Elsewhere will see temperatures widely into the high 20s and low 30s Celsius.
“Coupled with the high daytime temperatures there will be some warm nights, with temperatures expected not to drop below the low 20s Celsius for some areas in the south.”
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.”
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.” ■