Health warning as summer heat hits from TODAY with longest heat wave in four years

Britain will face a record-breaking heat wave from today that could threaten the health of the elderly and vulnerable as temperatures rise across the country, doctors have warned.

The UK’s longest heatwave in four years is set to begin today as a ‘Spanish heat surge’ brings temperatures to 82F (28C), before the mercury rises even higher over the weekend -end.

If the heatwave lasts longer than a week, it will become the longest since a sweltering 15-day spell in 2018 and the Met Office fears temperatures will hit the mid-30s by the end of next week.

The UK health security agency yesterday issued a ‘level two’ health alert for the east of England, the south east and London, warning people to get fit and be aware of the heat.

Today, the mercury is expected to reach 28C (82.4F) in London before climbing to 31C (87.8F) on Monday and Tuesday.

Heat was a factor in the deaths of over 2,500 people in 2020 and on average there are around 2,000 heat-related deaths each year.

Worried health officials have urged people to check their fridges and fans are working and watch vulnerable family members during the heatwave.

People with circulatory, lung or heart problems are often particularly at risk during a heat wave.

Heatstroke is caused by overheating of a person’s body and can be extremely dangerous and even fatal.

The NHS recommends staying indoors and drinking enough water to combat heat exhaustion.

Today’s heatwave – which will make Britain hotter than Antigua – is the result of the Azores High Pressure, which is formed by dry air descending into the subtropics.

Beachgoers enjoy a walk in the sun on Tynemouth Longsands beach in North Tyneside this afternoon as the warm weather is expected to continue into the weekend

Steven Keates of the Met Office told MailOnline: ‘We can expect to see fine, dry weather across the UK from [today] where it will be fuzzier than [yesterday] in the morning before breaking out in the sun.

“The exception will be in Northern Ireland and parts of Scotland where it will be more cloudy, possibly with some drizzle.

“The high pressure will move slowly from the South West of England over the weekend bringing much more sunshine and temperatures approaching 86F (30C) by Sunday.”

Deputy Chief Meteorologist David Oliver added: “We are at the start of a spell of warm weather for much of England and Wales which could last well into next week.”

“In the short term, many can expect temperatures of between 20 and 20 degrees Celsius over the weekend and then in the high 30s at the start of next week. Much of next week will remain warm for the time of year as well as dry and sunny.

Crowds began to gather on Portobello Beach, Edinburgh yesterday as temperatures continue to rise

Crowds began to gather on Portobello Beach, Edinburgh yesterday as temperatures continue to rise

Beachgoers enjoy a walk in the sun on Tynemouth Longsands beach in North Tyneside this afternoon as the warm weather is expected to continue into the weekend

Beachgoers enjoy a walk in the sun on Tynemouth Longsands beach in North Tyneside this afternoon as the warm weather is expected to continue into the weekend

Surfers prepare to venture out into the waters of the North Sea at Tynemouth Longsands beach in North Tyneside this afternoon

Surfers prepare to venture out into the waters of the North Sea at Tynemouth Longsands beach in North Tyneside this afternoon

People out in the woods walking their dogs on a hot afternoon in Clayfield Copse, Berkshire yesterday

People out in the woods walking their dogs on a hot afternoon in Clayfield Copse, Berkshire yesterday

Beachgoers enjoy a walk in the sun on Tynemouth Longsands beach in North Tyneside this afternoon as the warm weather is expected to continue into the weekend

Beachgoers enjoy a walk in the sun on Tynemouth Longsands beach in North Tyneside this afternoon as the warm weather is expected to continue into the weekend

Blue skies and fluffy white clouds over farmers' fields in Dunsden, Oxfordshire this afternoon

Blue skies and fluffy white clouds over farmers’ fields in Dunsden, Oxfordshire this afternoon

Beachgoers enjoy a walk in the sun on Tynemouth Longsands beach in North Tyneside this afternoon as the warm weather is expected to continue into the weekend

Beachgoers enjoy a walk in the sun on Tynemouth Longsands beach in North Tyneside this afternoon as the warm weather is expected to continue into the weekend

Surfers emerge from the waters of the North Sea on Tynemouth Longsands beach in North Tyneside this afternoon

Surfers emerge from the waters of the North Sea on Tynemouth Longsands beach in North Tyneside this afternoon

Beachgoers enjoy a walk in the sun on Tynemouth Longsands beach in North Tyneside this afternoon as the warm weather is expected to continue into the weekend

Beachgoers enjoy a walk in the sun on Tynemouth Longsands beach in North Tyneside this afternoon as the warm weather is expected to continue into the weekend

As temperatures rise and the temptation to cool off in the water mounts, Britons are being reminded to take extra precautions to stay safe.

Sam Hughes, National Water Safety Partner at the RNLI, said: ‘It’s great to hear the sun is on its way, but we want to remind everyone to stay safe on the coast. If you plan to go to the beach, we encourage you to visit a supervised beach and swim between the red and yellow flags.

“If you have trouble in the water, Float to Live: Lean back, use your arms and legs to stay afloat. Control your breathing, then call for help or swim to safety. coastal emergency, call 999 or 112 for the coast guard.

Matthew Killick, Director of Crisis Response and Community Resilience, British Red Cross, added: ‘We’re all looking forward to some warm weather this summer, but it’s important to remember that the heat can be very dangerous, especially for children, the elderly and those with underlying health conditions.

“Climate change means we are experiencing longer and more intense heat waves, but a worrying number of people are unaware of the risks of hot weather. In England alone, there were over 2,500 additional deaths in the summer of 2020, and sadly heat-related deaths in the UK are expected to triple within 30 years.

The heat wave will likely continue for much of next week and the following weekend, particularly in southern areas.

Looking that far away always brings some uncertainty, so exact temperatures are yet to be determined. However, it is possible for temperatures to climb above 86F over the next few days.

Mr Keates added: “The second half of next week will be warmer, although we don’t know exactly by how much. Temperatures in the 30s to 30s are not out of the question but not guaranteed.

Met Office meteorologist and presenter Alex Deakin agreed, adding: ‘There is good model certainty that we will see a peak in temperatures early next week, but there is a possible scenario where temperatures rise even further later. next week.

“A more likely scenario is for temperatures to return to something similar to Monday and Tuesday and there is also a chance that temperatures will drop much closer to average.”

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