The Met Office has issued an ‘extreme heat’ weather warning for 17 July as temperatures are expected to reach as high as 35˚C. Issued by the Met Office as an Amber level warning, these sweltering temperatures are said to likely cause population-wide adverse health effects.
Forecasters warn of the widespread impact these exceptionally high temperatures could have on people and infrastructure, urging that substantial changes in working practices and daily routines are likely to be required.
“From Sunday and into Monday, temperatures are likely to be in excess of 35˚C in the southeast, although the details still remain uncertain. Elsewhere, temperatures could be fairly widely above 32˚C in England and Wales, and in the mid-to-high 20s Celsius further north.”
Yorkshire and Humber are amongst the regions which are to be affected by these high temperatures with Sheffield reaching a forecast temperature of 30˚C on 17 July.
This Amber warning comes at the end of an already scorching week for Britain, where temperatures peaked at a high of 32˚C on Tuesday in the southeast and are expected to ramp up towards the end of the week.
Will temperatures this weekend be record-breaking?
The highest temperature ever recorded in the UK was 38.7˚C on 25 July 2019 in Cambridge Botanic Garden.
Yet, reaching the temperature levels of 40˚C this weekend is currently being treated as a low possibility by the Met Office.
Forecaster for the Met Office Becky Mitchell told the Mirror: “There’s a one in three chance we could see a record-breaking temperature next week.”
Rebekah Sherwin added that temperatures reaching 40˚C ‘are still only a low probability’ and instead ‘mid or perhaps high-30s are looking more likely’. But the Met Office will continue to closely monitor the temperature levels in the coming days to determine whether this heat will be record-breaking.
Extreme heat and climate change
These soaring temperatures and heatwaves are becoming more frequent and the Met Office has linked these extreme conditions to climate change. Dr Mark McCarthy, head of the Met Office National Climate Information Centre, has declared that: “There is already a strongly-embedded warming due to climate change across the continent, that is increasing the likelihood of challenging the existing UK temperature record.”
How to cope in the extreme heat
In England there are on average 2,000 heat-related deaths every year, meaning taking the necessary precautions in extreme heat is essential.
The Met Office is advising the public to:
- Drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration and overheating.
- Stay cool indoors by closing curtains in rooms that face the sun.
- Walk in the shade, apply sunscreen and wear a wide-brimmed hat.
- Try to keep out the sun between 11am-3pm when the UV rays are strongest.
- Avoid physical exertion in the hottest parts of the day.
- Never leave anyone in a closed parked vehicle.
- Look out for those who may struggle to keep themselves cool and hydrated as older people and those with underlying health conditions are especially at risk.
The NHS have outlined the possible signs of heat exhaustion and heatstroke:
- A headache.
- Dizziness and confusion.
- Loss of appetite and feeling sick.
- Excessing sweating.
- Cramps in arms legs or stomach.
- Fast breathing or pulse.
- Being very thirsty.
Government advice is that 999 services should be used in emergencies only. If non-emergency health advice is needed, then please contact the NHS medical helpline on 111.