Extreme heat-health alert is EXTENDED as Brits swelter in soaring temperatures

AN EXTREME heat-health alert has been extended in Britain as it melts in soaring temperatures.

Public Health England (PHE) has warned of scorching heat up to 9am on Friday 23 July.

It has issued a Level 3 heat-health alert, which means people should be aware of the actions to protect themselves from the possible health effects of hot weather.

This includes heat exhaustion, heat stroke and sunburn.

The health agency said most of England can expect hot weather, particularly the South West and parts of south and central.

While the Met Office has said some of the most “unusually high temperatures are likely to be seen over parts of the west, particularly over Northern Ireland”.

The Met Office also issued an amber extreme heat warning lasting to Thursday night.

Dr Owen Landeg, Scientific and Technical Lead at PHE, said: “Everybody can be affected by high temperatures and most people are aware of good health advice for coping with hot weather. However, it’s important to keep checking on those who are most vulnerable such as older people and those with heart or lung conditions.

“As we experience the first hot weather episode of the year, it’s important for everyone to remember to adapt their behaviours. This is particularly important during the pandemic with many people self-isolating.

“Most of us want to enjoy the sun. Remember to look out for signs of heat exhaustion and follow our simple health advice to beat the heat.”

Britain will be hotter than Barbados, Marbella, Mykonos and Tenerife today and possible till Friday as temperatures could hit a blistering 33C.

The mercury will remain above 31C (87.8F) during the week, with forecasters suggesting the next few days could be the hottest of the year.

But thunderstorms are set to batter large parts of the country this afternoon – sparking flash flood and lightning warnings.

The Met Office yesterday issued its first new-style extreme heat alert.

The amber warning covers the whole of south-west England as well as huge swathes of central and southern areas.

It will be in place until Thursday night when conditions are expected to take a cooler turn, sweeping in thunderstorms and heavy rain across the UK.

Forecasters have warned people to stay out of the sun during the afternoon, close their curtains to keep living rooms cool, stay out of direct sunlight and drink water.

Chief Operational Meteorologist at the Met Office Steven Ramsdale said: “The high temperatures are going to continue through a large part of this week, with temperatures regularly in the high 20s and low 30s Celsius by day, along with high overnight temperatures.

“Many areas of the UK will continue to reach heatwave thresholds, and whilst the highest temperatures are likely to be in central and southern parts of the UK, some of the most unusually high temperatures are likely to be seen over parts of the west, particularly over Northern Ireland. 

“There’s also a continuing risk of isolated thundery downpours late in the afternoons but most should stay dry until later in the week. 

“Temperatures should fall for most areas into the weekend along with some more unsettled conditions also looking to develop.”

How to stay safe in a heatwave – PHE tips

  • look out for those who may struggle to keep themselves cool and hydrated – older people, those with underlying conditions and those who live alone are particularly at risk
  • stay cool indoors: many of us may need to stay safe at home this summer so know how to keep your home cool
  • close curtains on rooms that face the sun to keep indoor spaces cooler and remember it may be cooler outdoors than indoors
  • use cool spaces considerately if going outdoors, and wash your hands regularly
  • drink plenty of fluids and avoid excess alcohol
  • 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, when the UV rays are strongest
  • walk in the shade, apply sunscreen and wear a wide-brimmed hat, if you have to go out in the heat
  • avoid physical exertion in the hottest parts of the day
  • make sure you take water with you, if you are travelling
  • take care and follow local safety advice if you are going into open water to cool down – during warm weather going for a swim can provide much welcomed relief
  • remember that while coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions are in place, you will need to follow any additional government guidance to use public spaces safely

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