Met Office in heatwave warning over fears rising temperatures will have “significant impact” on health; east of England among heatwave warning spots; mercury reaches 26C in Skegness

Kadie Lane 4 cools down in whitley Bay as the heatwave continues across the country .....PA Photo Owen Humphreys
Kadie Lane 4 cools down in whitley Bay as the heatwave continues across the country .....PA Photo Owen Humphreys

A warning has been issued by the Met Office over fears that the expected heatwave will have a significant impact on health.

This weekend is set to bring the UK’s hottest day of the year so far, with weather experts predicting temperatures will reach a sizzling 31C (87.8F) on Saturday.

The mercury will begin to creep up to the high-20s over Friday before spiking at the record. The continued hot spell shows no sign of ending as temperatures settle around the mid-20s well into next week.

And is that consistently hot weather which has sparked the warning.

A Level 2 Heat Health Alert has been issued by the Met Office for parts of England.

A spokesman for Public Health England (PHE) said: “Level 2 alerts are triggered as soon as the Met Office forecasts that there is a 60% chance of temperatures being high enough on at least two consecutive days to have a significant effect on health.

“This will normally happen two to three days before a heatwave is expected to occur.

“As most deaths occur in the first two days, this is an important stage at which to ensure readiness and swift action to reduce harm from a potential heatwave.”

The areas affected by the alert are Yorkshire and the Humber, East Midlands, East of England, south-east England, London and south-west England.

The Met Office alert warned of heatwave conditions on Friday and Saturday.

“Heatwaves can be dangerous, especially for the very young, very old or those with chronic diseases,” the alert said.

Dr Angie Bone, head of the PHE’s Heatwave Plan, said: “Everyone can enjoy the sun safely by keeping out of the heat at the hottest time of the day, avoiding sunburn and staying hydrated with plenty of cool drinks.

“The elderly and those with long-term illnesses are particularly vulnerable to the effects of very hot weather, so it’s important to look out for them and keep indoor areas as cool as possible.”

The RAC said more than 11 million motorists were planning to hit the road this weekend.

It added that it was boosting the number of its patrol teams following a sharp rise last weekend in hot weather-related breakdowns.