Britain braces itself for a record breaking heatwave
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The south east, London, and the east of England are among the huge areas covered by the warning, which was upgraded in anticipation of the mercury becoming hotter than the Sahara by tomorrow (June 17). Much of the country will be sweltering in extreme heat by the afternoon, with central parts of London predicted to hit 35C. The warning, which is the second highest that can be issued, has been put in place by the Met Office and the Government’s UK Health Security Agency. Those who are at risk are being urged to stay out of the direct sunlight between the hours of 11am and 3pm on both days.
A Level 2 alert was previously issued on Tuesday (June 14) – and this is still the case for the East Midlands and the south west.
All alerts will remain in place until midnight on Saturday, June 18 – meaning both Friday and Saturday are set to be a scorcher.
But thunderstorms are expected to swoop in on Sunday (June 19), bringing with it cool air and some much-needed relief for some.
The alerts are implemented during times of extreme weather and are there to place extra focus on the vulnerable, or those who can become dehydrated very quickly.
Dr Agostinho Sousa, head of extreme events and health protection at UKHSA, said: “High temperatures are expected in some parts of the Midlands and the south on Friday.
“We want everyone to enjoy the hot weather safely when it arrives and be aware of good health advice for coping with warmer conditions.
“During periods of hot weather, it is especially important to keep checking on those who are most vulnerable, such as older people and those with heart or lung conditions.
“Make sure to look out for signs of heat exhaustion and follow our simple health advice to beat the heat.”
Among the advice given, people are told to carry water with them on their travels, walk in the shade, ensure sun cream is applied and to avoid physical exertion during the day.
Forecasters have made no secret that such temperatures are not common at this time of the year.
In fact, the last time temperatures skyrocketed to around the mid-30s was back in June 1976.
It will take Met Office thermometers to record temperatures of 36C to break a 40-year record.
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BBC weather forecaster Tomasz Schafernaker said: “Well we are certainly turning up the heat over the next couple of days.
“For southern parts of the UK this is going to be a short-lived heatwave and this is the peak, by Friday, London and the south east up to 33C perhaps even 34C.
“Look at the average we are significantly higher compared to what we would normally see, not unprecedented, the record is actually a little above 35C so we are not actually beating any records but it is not that far away if you think about it.
“Now this is what is happening on the satellite picture. Here is the heat coming in from the south, we’ve got cooler air in the north Atlantic, that cooler air will eventually win. I think that by the time we get to Saturday, into Sunday, things will start cooling off and storms will come our way as well but not in the short term.”
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