New extreme heat weather warning issued for the South West explained

Credit Charlie Powell

The phrase "be careful what you wish for" springs to mind after experiencing the weather over the last few days. A couple of weeks of cool and often rainy skies at the start of July made it feel as though summer wasn't going to show up. Then, as high pressure arrived last week on the 16th, so too did the sunshine and a hike in temperatures.

Sunny skies during the weekend of 17-18 July Credit: NASA Worldview

Temperatures have regularly been around the 30 Celsius mark since the July 18 - not record breaking heat, but prolonged, which prompted the Met Office to issue a brand new type of warning for "Extreme heat".

Extreme heat warning from the Met Office Credit: Met Office

Unlike a heatwave, which is based on temperature thresholds being exceeded, a heat warning is based on the impacts resulting from prolonged high temperatures by day and night.

These impacts could be health-related, especially for the elderly and very young, and those with underlying health conditions. Heat also affects infrastructure, such as roads and rail, as people travel to the coast to seek lower temperatures.

It can also impact appliances and equipment not designed or used to working when it's so hot.

There are things we can do to keep cool during hot weather and thankfully, as we head into the weekend we'll see temperatures in the low twenties and some rainfall, which feels like an odd thing to look forward to in summer.