Temperatures are set to rise even higher as we head towards the weekend.
Unless you’re lucky enough to live in one of the UK’s rare air-conditioned homes, chances are you’ve been keeping an anxious eye on the weather forecast for the week ahead.
If current predictions come true, the warm weather we saw over the weekend will be a mere glimpse of what’s to come. As stands, daytime temperatures in many southern and central areas of England and Wales are forecasted to sit in the high 20s and early 30s all week long, with temperatures predicted to reach a high of 31°C in London today (11 July).
This means that the weather will officially meet what the Met Office calls ‘heatwave criteria’ –when a location records a period of at least three consecutive days when daily maximum temperatures meet or exceed the heatwave temperature threshold.
This threshold varies from area to area, but it typically sits in the mid to high 20s; in London, it’s 28 degrees.
While the idea of experiencing hot, sunny weather for over a week may sound perfect for some, the heat can have surprisingly dire consequences. 30°C is enough to make anyone sweat – but for older people, young children, babies and those with underlying health conditions, such temperatures can become dangerous.
As a result of this week’s forecast, England’s ‘Heat Health Alert’ – a service designed to help healthcare professionals support the population during periods of extreme temperature – has been placed at Level 3, aka the second-highest level.
But that’s not all. According to the Met Office, forecasters now believe there is a “30% chance” of a new UK temperature record being set this July. The current record, set in 2019, was when a temperature of 38.7°C was recorded at the Cambridge Botanic Garden on 25 July.
One long-term forecast has also indicated that England could see temperatures over 40°C by the middle of the month – although the Met Office has said this extreme is “very unlikely”.
Still, it seems as if many areas of England and Wales could be in for a very sweaty ride over the next couple of weeks – so it’s important to have a plan in place for how to keep cool.
From taking a bottle of water with you while travelling to keeping your blinds and curtains closed during the day, the Met Office has plenty of tips for staying cool.
And if you want help with how to sleep during a heatwave or if you want to find out why the heat might be making you feel anxious, you can check out Stylist’s wide range of heatwave-related content.
For more information on how to help and support those likely to be worst affected by the hot weather, you can check out the Heatwave Plan For England information page. You can also obtain information from your doctor or local chemist, or ring NHS 111.
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