UK weather news – live: Temperatures set to soar into 30s as Met Office issues ‘extreme heat warning’
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The UK is set to soar to swelter with highs into the 30s this week after the Met Office issued an unprecedented heat warning.
Parts of the country are forecast to could reach 33C, with the heat expected to last from Tuesday until at least Thursday, with Britain on track to be hotter than top European holiday destinations including Greece and Canary Islands.
It comes after the Met Office issued its first ever “amber extreme heat warning”, which is similar to those issued when heavy rain or snow is forecast, and covers a large part of Wales, all of southwest England and parts of southern and central England.
The Met Office warned the extreme heat could have health consequences, especially for those who are particularly vulnerable, as well as bringing an increased wildfire risk.
2020 heatwaves blamed for thousands of extra deaths
While some will be enjoying this week’s hot weather, it can have a devastating impact on those who are less able to deal with extreme temperatures.
To put that into context, in 2020, which is not remembered as a particularly scorching summer, there were 2,256 excess deaths reported across the country during heatwaves in the summer – the highest since records began.
Why did the Met Office introduce extreme heat warnings?
This week’s extreme heat warning from the Met Office is the first ever to be issued after the weather organisation launched a new alert.
Explaining the rationale behind the service, which launched at the start of June, the Met Office said that “as a result of climate change, we are now much more likely to see prolonged spells of hot weather here in the UK”.
“Extreme heat warnings will work in a similar way to the existing weather warnings, where they’re only issued based on the impacts of the weather conditions, rather than when specific temperatures are reached,” the Met Office explained in a recent blog post.
“This means that different conditions in different areas of the country may trigger an extreme heat warning, and the threshold for an extreme heat warning in Aberdeen, for example, is likely to be lower than one covering London.”
The Extreme Heat Warning issued by the Met Office coincides with an extension to Public Health England’s Heat Health Alert through to Thursday, which signals the potentially dire impact on people’s health.
PHE urged the public to look out for those who may struggle to keep themselves cool and hydrated – with older people, those with underlying conditions and those who live alone are particularly at risk.
Dr Owen Landeg, scientific and technical lead at PHE, said: “Everybody can be affected by high temperatures and most people are aware of good health advice for coping with hot weather. However, it’s important to keep checking on those who are most vulnerable such as older people and those with heart or lung conditions.
“As we experience the first hot weather episode of the year, it’s important for everyone to remember to adapt their behaviours. This is particularly important during the pandemic with many people self-isolating.
“Most of us want to enjoy the sun. Remember to look out for signs of heat exhaustion and follow our simple health advice to beat the heat.”
First up, a recap from yesterday detailing the Met Office extreme heat warning.
The Extreme Heat Warning, which is issued in partnership with the Met Office’s public health partners across the UK, covers a large part of Wales, all of southwest England and parts of southern and central England. The amber warning will be in force until the end of Thursday.
The warning comes as the forecast continues to signal for unusually high temperatures for western areas in particular, as well as continuing high nighttime temperatures creating what the Met Office said were “potential impacts for health”.