The UK Health Security Agency has issued a second warning of the summer as England was placed on Level 3 health alert for the heat.
The alert comes as south-east England goes 144 days with little to no rain, the longest in half a century, according to Met Office statistics. Temperatures are expected to reach the mid-30s for the duration of the warning, from Tuesday noon until Saturday August 13 at 6 p.m.
While temperatures are not expected to reach those of the Level 4 alert issued last month, Dr Agostinho Sousa, head of extreme events and health protection at UKHSA, warned: “Temperatures will be at again very hot this week, especially in the southern and central regions. from the country.
“We want everyone to enjoy the warm weather safely when it arrives, but remember the heat can have a rapid impact on health. It is important to ensure that the most vulnerable people – older people who live alone and people with underlying health conditions – are prepared for the hot weather.
As England experiences its driest eight months from November to June since 1976, the warning comes with recommendations to avoid barbecues due to dry conditions and indicates an increased risk of wildfires like those seen during from last month’s heat wave.
Green spaces across the country have turned dry while Odiham, a village in Hampshire, has had no rain for the past month, according to the Met Office. The Met Office has also identified 10 places that have seen less than 250mm of rain since November 2021, and George Eustice, the environment secretary, has called for the introduction of garden hose bans, some of which may last for up to in October in the most affected areas.
The 10 areas are Hartpury College, Gloucestershire; Bognor Regis, West Sussex; Wisley, Surrey; Wallingford, Oxfordshire; Botanical Garden, Cambridge; Shoeburyness, Essex; Manston, Kent; Writer, Essex; Oxford; and Kew Gardens, London.
Currently, most of England is under a prolonged dry weather status and officials are expected to announce an official drought after a meeting between water companies, government ministers and farmers this week.
Met Office deputy chief meteorologist Tony Wardle said: “Heatwave criteria are expected to be met for large parts of the UK later this week, with the hottest areas expected in central and southern England and Wales on Friday and Saturday.
“In addition to high daytime temperatures, warm nights will continue, with the mercury only expected to drop to around 20 degrees Celsius in parts of the south.”
To stay safe in the heat, the UK Health Safety Agency recommends:
Try to stay out of the sun from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Watch out for those who may struggle to keep cool and hydrated – older people who can also live on their own and those with underlying conditions are particularly at risk.
Drink plenty of fluids and avoid excess alcohol.
Check that refrigerators, freezers and fans are working properly.
Check medications can be stored according to the instructions on the package.