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The Met Office has issued the first ever ‘extreme heat alert’ for the UK, as the current heatwave continues across several regions.
This unprecedented warning is expected to be in place throughout South Wales, West Midlands, Southwest England and further east into Hampshire up until the end of Thursday, July 22. It’s thought the Isle of Wight will also be affected.
Many people across the UK have experienced heatwave conditions in recent days, and temperatures are expected to continue rising in the early part of the week, with some western areas potentially reaching highs of 33°C. High 20s and low 30s are expected across various other regions.
This comes after Northern Ireland recorded its warmest ever day on Saturday, July 17, with temperatures soaring to 31.2°C in Ballywatticock, County Down, at 3.40pm. This beats Northern Ireland’s previously held record of 30.8°C, recorded on July 12, 1983, and June 30, 1976.
The Met Office said:
The warning comes as the forecast continues to signal for unusually high temperatures for western areas in particular, as well as continuing high night-time temperatures creating potential impacts for health. The prolonged nature of the current heatwave has also been a factor for the increased impacts from this continued heat.
The impacts of extreme heat can be many and varied. It can have health consequences, especially for those who are particularly vulnerable, and it can impact infrastructure, including transport and energy, as well as the wider business community. During hot weather we often see increased traffic near coastal areas, increased use of open water by the public, and an increase in wildfire risk.
Met Office Chief Operational Meteorologist Steven Ramsdale said:
The high temperatures are going to continue through a large part of this week. Many areas will continue to reach heatwave thresholds but the amber extreme heat warning focusses on western areas where the most unusually high temperatures are likely to persist.
There’s a continuing risk of isolated thundery downpours late in the afternoons but most areas will stay dry until later in the week. Temperatures should begin to fall for most areas heading into the weekend, with some more unsettled conditions looking to develop.
Extreme heat warnings were first introduced by the National Severe Weather Warning Service (NSWWS) on June 1, following consultations with Public Health England and other UK based health agencies and other relevant groups.
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