As parts of Britain bask in a heatwave, Southern Electric Power Distribution is preparing for a surge in demand.
With the mercury set to inch past 30 degrees Celsius, homeowners and businesses alike will be cranking up air conditioning units and fans to stave off the stickiness.
In response, SEPD has factored into its daily operations the extra amount of power that will flow through thousands of miles of its overhead wires and underground cables across central southern England.
The peak demand caused by the heatwave is expected to be around 4,000 MW, which is as much as two-thirds the amount of electricity used during an extremely cold winter, according to SEPD.
System Planning and Investment Manager, John Smart, said. “People are often surprised to learn that for some of our main substations, particularly in urban areas, their busiest period is over the hot summer months rather than the freezing winter.”
Today will be the hottest day of the year so far as temperatures are predicted to rise above 30C (86F), spelling trouble for rail services and people with respiratory problems.
Sweltering conditions have led rail companies to cancel services as Network Rail warned tracks could buckle in the heat.
Several fast trains from London Paddington were cancelled after Network Rail imposed speed restrictions to protect track points.
The rail operator instructed train companies to slow down at vulnerable locations where tracks could buckle.
Vicky Barber from the British Lung Foundation Helpline said: "During hot weather, the air we breathe has lower moisture levels than usual, which can have a drying effect on our airways.
"As a result, people with respiratory conditions such as COPD or severe asthma may find it harder to breathe, feel more tired, or find their lungs feeling heavy or tight."
The sharp rise in temperatures this week is set to bring with it a sudden spike in pollen count and UV levels, a meterologist has warned.
Paul Knightley, forecast manager at Meteogroup, also thinks that dust blown over from the Sahara could coat cars.
He said: "UV levels will be about as high as they can be - up to eight in southern areas."
Animal welfare officers from Brighton & Hove City Council have issued the following warnings for dog owners in readiness for the predicted heatwave:
· Never leave your dog in the car, even with a window open
· Welfare officers take a ‘zero tolerance’ approach and will not hesitate to get the dog out
· Avoid taking your dog out in the middle of the day – change your routine if necessary
· Remember hot pavements can burn dogs’ paws
· During the hottest part of the day keep your dog indoors with plenty of water
· Never leave your dog shut in a conservatory – they can become as hot as cars
The extremes of our summer weather - from high temperatures to prolonged rainfall - bring their own problems for the rail network such as the risk of lineside fires and buckled track. Network Rail have information about how they prevent tracks buckling in the heat.
What a beautiful dog! Thor is considering a walk outside. For now, he's staying out of the heat.