ITV News' Lewis Warner reports from a Worcestershire lido experiencing its busiest day of the year so far
The hottest day of the year so far has been recorded in the UK, with temperatures exceeding 29C, according to the Met Office.
A high of 29.5C was recorded at Northolt in west London on Thursday, surpassing the 2022 high of 28.2C recorded at Kew Gardens on Wednesday. A sweltering 34C is expected in London and potentially some spots in East Anglia on Friday, forecasters said.
Away from the capital and the South East, 27-30C is expected across most of England and Wales, meaning the country will be hotter than parts of Jamaica and the Maldives.
Britain’s highest recorded June UK temperature was 35.6C at Southampton Mayflower Park in June 1976.
The UK Health Security Agency and the Met Office have issued a Level 3 heat-health alert for London, the East of England and the South East. This alert follows the Level 2 alert issued on Tuesday and confirms that the Met Office’s threshold temperatures for an alert will be reached in three regions from Friday. A Level 2 alert remains in place for the East Midlands and South West.
What are heat health alerts?
On the four-level heat-health alert scale, which is designed to help healthcare workers manage through periods of extreme temperatures, level 1 (green) is the lowest warning and is the minimum state of vigilance used during the summer months.
Level 2 (yellow), called alert and readiness, is triggered as soon there is a 60% risk that temperature thresholds will be reached in one or more regions on at least two consecutive days and the intervening night.
Level 3 (amber) is triggered when threshold temperatures for one or more regions have been reached for a day and a night, and the forecast predicts 90% or higher chance of the threshold temperature being met the next day.
Level 4 (red) - national emergency: this is when a heatwave is so serious, or lasts for such a long time, that it could result in healthy people - not just vulnerable groups - getting ill or dying.
Experts – some whom attribute the heat to climate change – have warned people of the dangers surrounding the hot weather.
“Severe heat disrupts sleep, impairs cognitive performance and is associated with increased risk of suicide or hospital admission for mental illness," Dr Radhika Khosla, of the University of Oxford, said.
Jason Kelly, deputy chief meteorologist at the Met Office said the “unusual” weather means temperatures are expected to be in the high teens or even low twenties overnight.
Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To Know