A warning has been issued by the Met Office that very hot conditions are expected to persist across eastern and south-eastern parts of the UK through the working week.
The heatwave of 2018 continues across much of England this week, and temperatures are set to peak at 32-34degC in some parts of southern and eastern England on Thursday or Friday.
Matthew Lewis, Deputy Chief Meteorologist at the Met Office, said: “The heatwave conditions will continue much of England through this week, with temperatures possibly into the mid 30s Celsius in places on Thursday and Friday.
“More changeable conditions are expected across Northern Ireland and western Scotland with showers or longer spells of rain at times with maximum temperatures nearer normal.”
The highest temperature recorded so far this year is 33degC at Porthmadog on June 28.
The highest temperature recorded in 2017 was 34.5degC at Heathrow on June 21.
Prior to this, the most recent heatwave prior to this was in July 2015 when temperatures peaked at 36.7degC at Heathrow on July 1, a temperature that is currently the July all-time maximum record.
The all-time record in the UK is 38.5degC at Faversham on August 10 2003.
The dry spell has been most prolonged in East Anglia and South-east England.
The Met Office says: “We classify less than 1.0mm of rain in a day as a ‘dry day’. Using this threshold, several sites have had 54 consecutive dry days (starting 30 May), including a few which have had less than 1mm in the entire 54 day period.”
The sites and their total rainfall over the 54 days are:
Heathrow (0.4 mm)
Hampton Water works (0.6 mm)
Kenley Airfield (1.0 mm)
Cambridge NIAB (1.0 mm)
Cavendish (1.6 mm)
High Wycombe (1.8 mm)
Shoreham Airport is close behind with 53 consecutive days of less than 1mm of rain.
Hot weather often brings the risk of showers and thunderstorms and there is a chance of heavy or thundery downpours across eastern parts of England on Friday before the fresher, more changeable conditions in the north-west finally make their way east across the UK later in the week.
Matthew Lewis added: “There is the chance of a few thunderstorms breaking out over East Anglia on Wednesday, but it is likely to be Friday when we see thunderstorms affecting many central and eastern areas.”
A Level 3 heat-health watch warning has been issued for a large part of England, in association with Public Health England. Our Heat Health Watch Service is designed to help healthcare professionals manage through periods of extreme temperature.
Hot weather, especially when prolonged, with warm nights, can have effects on people’s health and on certain infrastructure. To aid preparation and awareness before and during a prolonged hot spell, a heatwave plan has been created by Public Health England in association with the Met Office and other partners. It recommends a series of steps to reduce the risks to health from prolonged exposure to severe heat for:
The NHS, local authorities, social care, and other public agencies
Professionals working with people at risk
Individuals, local communities and voluntary groups
Dr Thomas Waite, Consultant in Health Protection at Public Health England, said: “Temperatures are likely be high in parts of England this week, which may leave older people, young children and those with long-term conditions, including heart and lung diseases, struggling to adapt to the heat. So keep an eye on friends and family who may be at risk.
“To beat the heat, try to keep out the sun from 11am to 3pm, walk in the shade if you can, apply sunscreen and wear a hat if you have to go out in the heat. Also try to carry water with you when travelling.”