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Met Office issues three-day heat alert as temperatures forecast to rocket above 30C

todayJune 14, 2022 1

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The Met Office has issued a three-day heat alert as parts of the UK are forecast to be hotter than Jamaica this week. Temperatures are set to rocket to 30C in parts of the country – with warnings that figures could even reach 34C on Friday, which could smash temperature records for this time of year.

Health experts are advising Brits to check up on those who are “most vulnerable”, such as grandparents, as hot weather grips the country this Friday through to midnight on Sunday. Earlier today (June 14) the Met Office issued a level two heat-health alert for most of southern and central England, as well as a level one alert for the north of England.

A statement by the Met Office reads: “There is a 60 per cent probability of Heat-Health Alert criteria being met between midnight on Friday and midnight on Sunday in parts of England. There is high confidence for temperatures to rise significantly through the second half of this week, becoming widely warm or very warm across England and likely hot, or perhaps even very hot in central and southern areas for a time.

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“The highest temperatures are expected on Friday, with daytime maxima likely to reach into the low to mid-30s of Celsius across large parts of central and southern England. A cold front will move slowly southeastwards across the country overnight Friday into Saturday.”

It continues: “This is likely to bring rain or thundery showers, with an eventual return to drier, but fresher conditions. There remains uncertainty in regards to the speed of progression of this weather front on Saturday. A slower outcome may allow for the very warm or hot conditions to persist in the south and east for another day on Saturday, before a more definitive return to more seasonable temperatures for all regions of England by Sunday.”

On Wednesday and Thursday, temperatures will hover between 21-24C in the north, before rising to 25C on Friday and 29C on Saturday. Across most of the southern half of Britain, temperatures will linger in the high twenties on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. On Saturday, highs will surge to 34C and looks set to stay put on Sunday too.

In Nottingham it’ll be a largely cloudy day on Thursday, with balmy highs of 23C. However all is set to change on Friday as wall-to-wall sunshine will be accompanied by sweltering highs of 30C, with an equally muggy night of 17C heat. The mercury will then fall back down to the low 20s on Saturday with a mixture of sunshine and showers.

Dan Rudman, Met Office deputy chief meteorologist, said: “Temperatures will continue to rise as we go through the week, becoming well above-average by Friday when many parts of the southern half of the UK are likely to exceed 30C and may even reach 34C in some places.

“This is the first spell of hot weather this year and it is unusual for temperature to exceed these values in June. Many areas will also see some warm nights with minimum temperatures expected to be in the high teens or even low 20Cs for some overnight. The heat is a result of a mix of homegrown warming in the day due to high pressure, as well as a southerly airflow introducing some of the warm air from the continent to UK shores.”

So far this year, the highest temperature reached in the UK was 27.5C on 17 May at Heathrow. The highest June temperature on record was 35.6C at Southampton Mayflower Park on 28 June, 1976.

Why is a heatwave a problem?

There are many health risks that can occur when a heatwave emerges. Some of the most severe risks include:

  • Dehydration
  • Overheating, which can make symptoms worse for people who already have heart or breathing problems
  • Heat exhaustion and heatstroke

What defines a heatwave?

Heatwave conditions are defined by four levels in Britain, depending on maximum daytime and minimum night-time temperatures and how long these are above heatwave classifications of 5C above average levels.

The four different official government classifications are as follows:

  • Level one: This is the minimum alert and is in place every year from June 1 until September 15, which is the period that heat-health alerts are likely to be issued. This minimum alert simply means that people should be aware of what to do if the alert level is raised.
  • Level two: Issued when there is a high chance that the threshold will be exceeded within the next few days
  • Level three: Issued when the thresholds have been exceeded
  • Level four: Issued when a prolonged hot spell becomes severe


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What are heat-health alerts?

Heat-health alerts in the UK come from the Heat Health Watch Service, which is designed to help health care professionals manage our health through periods of extreme temperature. According to the Met Office, the service acts as an early warning system forewarning of periods of high temperatures, which may affect the health of the UK public.

The Heat Health Watch Service operates in England from June 1 to September 15 every year, in association with Public Health England. These heatwave alerts are not to be confused with the weather agency’s own system of rain, snow, wind, fog, ice, thunderstorms weather warnings – red, amber and yellow.

Here are a few helpful tips on how to stay safe when the heat arrives:

  • Look out for others, especially older people, young children and babies and those with underlying health conditions
  • Close curtains on rooms that face the sun to keep indoor spaces cooler and remember it may be cooler outdoors than indoors
  • Drink plenty of water as sugary, alcoholic and caffeinated drinks can make you more dehydrated
  • Never leave anyone in a closed, parked vehicle, especially infants, young children or animals
  • Try to keep out of the sun between 11am to 3pm
  • Take care and follow local safety advice, if you are going into the water to cool down
  • Walk in the shade, apply sunscreen and wear a hat, if you have to go out in the heat
  • Avoid physical exertion in the hottest parts of the day
  • Wear light, loose fitting cotton clothes
  • Make sure you take water with you, if you are travelling

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