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Hot weather: New health alert as weekend temperatures to hit 30C

7 June 2023, 15:54 BST

Updated 10 minutes ago

Image source, Getty Images

A heat-health alert has been issued for parts of England as temperatures are predicted to hit 30C (86F) over the weekend.

The alert is in place from 09:00 BST on Friday 9 June to 09:00 on Monday 12 June in London, the Midlands, eastern and southern England.

People are being asked to check on vulnerable friends and family.

The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) says the health and social care sector could be impacted.

This first alert – graded yellow – means this weekend, predicted to be hotter than Ibiza and Madrid, could affect the vulnerable including the over-65s and those with an underlying health condition.

Dr Agostinho Sousa, head of extreme events and health protection at UKHSA, said: “In the coming days we are likely to experience our first sustained period of hot weather of the year so far, so it’s important that everyone ensures they keep hydrated and cool while enjoying the sun.

“Forecasted temperatures this week will primarily impact those over the age of 65 or those with pre-existing health conditions such as respiratory and cardiovascular diseases.

“If you have friends, family or neighbours who you know are more vulnerable to the effects of hot weather, it is important you check in on them.”

The UKHSA also advises people to:

  1. Know the symptoms of heat exhaustion and heatstroke and what to do if you or someone else has them

  2. Keep out of the sun at the hottest time of the day, between 11:00 BST and 15:00

  3. Exercise or walk your dog at cooler times of the day, such as in the morning or evening

  4. Close windows and curtains in rooms that face the sun to keep your home cool

  5. Cover up with suitable clothing if going outdoors, wear a hat and sunglasses, seek shade and apply sunscreen

  6. Drink plenty of fluids and limit your alcohol intake

BBC Weather meteorologist Tomasz Schafernaker said some parts of the UK official heatwave threshold might be met in parts of central and southern England this weekend.

In order for a heatwave to be declared, temperatures must be above the official heatwave threshold for at least three consecutive days.

He said: “Typically highs will reach the mid to high 20s widely across the country, but there is an outside chance of 30C in England. This is dependent on sunshine.

“The forecasts point to increasing amounts of cloud and the chance of thunderstorms which will have a bearing on the highest temperatures.

“Due to the increasing humidity the nights will also become uncomfortable over the weekend.”

Large parts of the country have seen little rain recently, with some areas in England not experiencing any rain since 11 May.

Image source, BBC Weather

Image caption,

Temperatures will be in the high 20s across the UK this weekend

Last year was the UK’s warmest ever – Coningsby, in Lincolnshire, reached a record 40.3C on 19 July.

The UKHSA expects heatwaves are “likely to occur more often, be more intense and last longer in the years and decades ahead”.

The new colour-coded alert system, launched last week, is run by the UKHSA and the Met Office. It is aimed at reducing illness and deaths among the most vulnerable.

With climate change, heatwaves are likely to be more frequent.

There are two further alerts, not yet issued, representing more of a risk:

  1. amber meaning the impact could affect the wider population and is likely to be felt across the whole health service

  2. and red means a significant risk to life even for healthy people and a severe impact expected across all sectors

Individuals can sign up to receive alerts directly here, and people can specify which region they would like to receive alerts for.