Met Office issues first ever extreme heat warning as temperatures soar

ITV News Correspondent Stacey Foster has been hearing from the authorities keen that warnings are listened to

The Met Office has issued its first ever extreme heat warning as the UK experiences sweltering temperatures across swathes of the country. 

It has been applied to South Wales, West Midlands, southwest England and parts of Hampshire, which have experienced heat upwards of 30C in recent days.

Temperatures could reach 33C (91.4F) in some western areas later this week, with high 20s and low 30s expected elsewhere.

The heat warning will remain in place until the end of Thursday when temperatures are forecast to begin to fall.

The notice says that some people are likely to experience “adverse health effects” such as sunburn or heat exhaustion, adding that delays to public transport should also be expected. 

People enjoy the weather on Bournemouth beach Credit: Steve Parsons/PA

Met Office Chief Operational Meteorologist Steven Ramsdale said: “The high temperatures are going to continue through a large part of this week. Many areas will continue to reach heatwave thresholds but the amber extreme heat warning focusses on western areas where the most unusually high temperatures are likely to persist.  

“There’s a continuing risk of isolated thundery downpours late in the afternoons but most areas will stay dry until later in the week. Temperatures should begin to fall for most areas heading into the weekend, with some more unsettled conditions looking to develop.” 

The comments come after temperature records were set over the weekend, with scores of sunseekers flocking to beaches- including Brighton and Weston-super-Mare- to soak up the sun.

In England on Sunday, 31.6C (88.88F) was recorded at Heathrow, overtaking Saturday’s record-breaking 30.3C (86.54F) recorded in Coton in the Elms, Derbyshire.

Wales recorded 30.2C (86.36F) in Cardiff, compared with 29.6C (85.28F) reached in Usk, Monmouthshire, on Saturday.

The Met Office launched a new Extreme Heat National Severe Weather Warning at the start of June 2021, with warnings to be issued based on the impacts of extreme heat.

People enjoying the hot weather on Blackpool beach Credit: Peter Byrne/PA

Amber and red warnings can now be issued to inform the public of potential widespread disruption and adverse health effects.

Forecasters said the amber warning comes as the forecast continues to signal for unusually high temperatures for western areas in particular, as well as continuing high night-time temperatures creating potential impacts for health.

During hot weather, there is often increased traffic near coastal areas, increased use of open water by the public, and an increase in wildfire risk.