Met Office issues an amber warning for extreme heat as temperatures set to soar

As more water companies bring in a hosepipe ban, Martha Fairlie reports on the dry and hot summer which is set to continue

The Met Office has issued an amber warning for extreme heat covering four days from Thursday to Sunday for parts of England and Wales as a new heatwave looms.

It covers areas including Norwich, Birmingham, Bath, Cardiff, Oxford, London, Portsmouth and Brighton.

The warning means that adverse health effects are likely to be experienced by those vulnerable to extreme heat, with some changes in working practices likely to be required.

It also means there is an increased chance that some heat-sensitive systems and equipment may fail, with many people also likely to experience delays to road, rail and air travel.

Experts have advised people to look out for those who are older or with existing health conditions, as well as young children.

A heat-health alert is due to come into force in England later on Tuesday, with temperatures set to reach up to 35C in some areas this week.

Firefighters bring a field fire under control near Ashford in Kent. Credit: PA

Outside the hottest areas, much of England and Wales and south-east Scotland could see temperatures in the high 20s, with a chance of a few spots seeing temperatures into the low 30s, the Met Office said. Scotland and Northern Ireland will also see temperatures in the high 20s and could reach official heatwave criteria by Friday, the forecasters said.

A heatwave is defined as above average temperatures being reached for three days or more. - they are becoming more likely and more extreme due to human-induced climate change.

Met Office deputy chief meteorologist Dan Rudman said: “Thanks to persistent high pressure over the UK, temperatures will be rising day-on-day through this week and an extreme heat warning has been issued. “Temperatures are expected to peak at 35C on Friday and Saturday, or even an isolated 36C on Saturday. Elsewhere will see temperatures widely into the high 20s and low 30s Celsius. “Coupled with the high daytime temperatures there will be some warm nights, with temperatures expected not to drop below the low 20s Celsius for some areas in the south.”

The Met Office added that its provisional statistics revealed last month was the driest July for England since 1935, and the driest July on record for East Anglia, southeast and southern England.

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