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Met Office issues Amber warning for "Extreme Heat" this weekend

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Met Office issues Amber warning for "Extreme Heat" this weekend

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The Met Office has announced an Amber alert weather warning for much of the south of the UK for the coming weekend.

The Amber warning, which has been issued for Sunday (17 July), highlights "likely adverse health effects" for the general public, not just those vulnerable to extreme heat. 

A spokesperson for the Met Office said: "Temperatures could be in excess of 35ºC in the southeast, and more widely around 32ºC within the warning area. These high temperatures could extend into the early part of next week and an extension of the warning will be considered in the coming days."

The alerts states: 

  • Population-wide adverse health effects are likely to be experienced, not limited to those most vulnerable to extreme heat, leading to potential serious illness or danger to life.
  • Government advice is that 999 services should be used in emergencies only; seek advice from 111 if you need non-emergency health advice.
  • Substantial changes in working practices and daily routines likely to be required
  • Significantly more people are likely to visit coastal areas, lakes and rivers leading to increased risk of water safety incidents
  • Delays on roads and road closures are possible, along with delays and cancellations to rail and air travel, with potential for significant welfare issues for those who experience even moderate delays

Dr Agostinho Sousa, Head of Extreme Events and Health Protection at UKHSA, said: “Heat-health alerts have now been issued to the majority of the country, with temperatures set to remain consistently high throughout the duration of this week.

“Most of us can enjoy the hot weather when it arrives, but it is important to keep yourself hydrated and to find shade where possible when UV rays are strongest, between 11am and 3pm.

“If you have vulnerable family, friends and neighbours, make sure they are aware of how they can keep themselves protected from the warm weather.’’.

Find out more about keeping cool in hot weather with WeatherReady from the Met Office.

 

Climate change

Whilst a 1°C background temperature increase may not seem significant, the resulting increase in the severity of extreme heat events is already evident in the observed record. This has widespread and significant impacts.

Extreme heat events do occur within natural climate variation due to changes in global weather patterns. However, the increase in the frequency, duration, and intensity of these events over recent decades is clearly linked to the observed warming of the planet and can be attributed to human activity.

Dr Mark McCarthy is the head of the Met Office National Climate Information Centre. He said: “The highest temperatures experienced in the UK tend to occur when our weather is influenced by air masses from continental Europe or North Africa – as it will be at the weekend - there is already a strongly-embedded warming due to climate change across the continent, that is increasing the likelihood of challenging the existing UK temperature record.”

 

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