UK heatwave: Met Office issues rare amber weather warning as temperatures set to rise to 35C
An amber weather warning for extreme heat has been issued across a large part of the UK ahead of further soaring temperatures this week, ITV News Correspondent Neil Connery reports
A rare amber weather extreme heat warning has been issued by the Met Office as the UK braces for highs of 35C (95F) this weekend.
The warning was issued for Sunday, July 17 and beyond, with exceptionally high temperatures. The amber warning highlights likely adverse health effects for the public, and not just the most vulnerable.
The UK's hottest day of the year so far was expected on Monday, with the mercury likely to hit 33C in southern parts of England. Temperatures look to build later this week and into the weekend for much of England and Wales.
Temperatures could be in excess of 35C in the south-east, and more widely around 32C within the warning area which covers much of England and eastern Wales, the Met Office said.
"These high temperatures could extend into the early part of next week and an extension of the warning will be considered in the coming days," the service said.
A traffic lights weather warning system is used by the Met Office - the lowest rating is a yellow, and that means people should be aware.Amber means be prepared.An amber warning was last issued in February ahead of Storm Eunice that brought 120mph gusts to to the UK and Ireland.
Where is the amber warning being enforced?
East of England
Yorkshire and Humber
Weather forecasting models suggest it is possible – though not likely – temperatures could reach 40C in the UK next weekend, which would break the current British temperature record of 38.7C set in Cambridge in July 2019.
However a spokeswoman for the Met Office said it takes computer modelling into consideration when making its predictions and it believes the warmest weather will not reach 40C.
A statement from the Met Office said: “Population-wide adverse health effects are likely to be experienced, not limited to those most vulnerable to extreme heat, leading to potential serious illness or danger to life.
"Government advice is that 999 services should be used in emergencies only; seek advice from 111 if you need non-emergency health advice.
“Substantial changes in working practices and daily routines (are) likely to be required.
"Significantly more people are likely to visit coastal areas, lakes and rivers leading to increased risk of water safety incidents.
“Delays on roads and road closures are possible, along with delays and cancellations to rail and air travel, with potential for significant welfare issues for those who experience even moderate delays.”
Councils are advising people to take precautions amid the soaring temperatures.
The Local Government Association (LGA), which represents councils in England and Wales, has encouraged people to enjoy the sun safely and to check up on those who may be more vulnerable, including the elderly and those with heart and respiratory problems.
Water companies, meanwhile, are urging people not to waste water during the heatwave this week.
Suppliers have said that higher demand and irresponsible use during hot weather spells can lead to people not having any water running through their taps.
This is not due to a shortage but to do with companies not being able to treat water quickly enough to keep up with the demand.
They have urged people to find alternatives to cooling down rather than having cold showers, including taking a dip in a local swimming pool or the sea.
Experts have warned that the UK needs to urgently adapt to a future with more heatwaves, adding that hot spells have a greater potential impact than other climate extremes such as flooding.