Heat-health alert upgraded – as NHS warned of ‘significant impacts’


Temperatures in the UK are expected to climb this week and could hit 32C (89.6F) on Wednesday and Thursday – with parts of the country on course to be hotter than Ibiza.

The mercury in places is expected to be 4C higher than the Spanish holiday island and warmer than Ayia Napa in Cyprus – 30C (86F) – also Athens in Greece, where it may be 27C (80.6F) on Thursday, according to the Met Office.

It could potentially beat the UK’s highest temperature of the year so far of 32.2C, recorded on 10 and 25 June, despite autumn technically beginning last Friday.

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Ibiza. File pic
Ibiza. File pic

This Friday could hit 31C (87.8F) in the UK but the warm conditions may change over the weekend with “no indication at the moment of another strong heatwave after this”, the weather agency said.

Meanwhile, the whole of England – apart from the North East – is under a yellow heat health alert until 9pm on Sunday.

Such warnings are issued by the UK Health Security Agency during periods of heat where some Britons could struggle to cope.

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The conditions could mean an increased use of health care services by vulnerable individuals and a raised risk to health for people aged over 65 or those with pre-existing health conditions, including respiratory and cardiovascular diseases.

Met Office spokesperson Oli Claydon said there will be “good sunny conditions through the week with cloudless skies” – and by Wednesday and Thursday “we could see 31, maybe 32 degrees”.

He said the warmer weather is “widely spread across the UK”, with the highest “probably somewhere in southeastern England spreading out to central parts of England”.

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It is expected to be a “tropical” night overnight on Wednesday when temperatures may not drop below 20C.

This will be most likely in the southern part of the UK and more in urban areas, he said.

“Then as we move through to Thursday, another hot day with highs of 31 to 32. And again, another warm night with potential for a tropical night on Thursday,” Mr Claydon added.

Also, Saharan dust is likely to extend across parts of the UK this week, and when combined with mostly clear skies, could bring picturesque sunsets.

As for this Tuesday, Sky weather producer Chris England said: “The morning will be mostly sunny again, after early fog lifts, but northern Scotland will be rather grey, while Ireland will be cloudier with the chance of the odd thundery shower in the west.

“It will be warmer overall, cooler and breezier on some coasts.

“Wednesday will be hotter generally, with 32C (90F) possible in the south, but low cloud and sea fog may affect some North and Irish Sea coasts.”

Sunny weather in St James's Park, central London
St James’s Park

The summery conditions can be traced to a jet stream over the Atlantic, which until recently has been bringing mostly unsettled spells of weather to the UK.

It is continuing to move north, allowing higher pressure to build widely across the country.

There is also the influence of former tropical cyclone Franklin in the Atlantic which is amplifying the build-up of high pressure.