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  • Writer's pictureNEMM

Health Alert issued as temperatures set to soar

Health officials have issued a heat health alert for this weekend as temperatures could reach heatwave criteria in the coming days.

Temperatures building day-by-day over the weekend means they will reach mid to high 20s on Saturday and Sunday and some places in Central England could reach 30c on Saturday, with the potential for some places to reach 31c during Sunday.

Hot weather is heading for the Melton Borough this weekend. Photo: NEMM.

The main health risks posed by a heatwave are:

  • Not having enough water (dehydration).

  • Overheating, which can make symptoms worse for people who already have problems with their heart or breathing.

  • Heat exhaustion and heatstroke, which are potentially serious conditions that can occur if you get too hot.

Met Office Operational Meteorologist Andy Page said: “The extension of the Azores high is the principal reason behind the UK’s current weather pattern, which will see much of the UK reach heatwave thresholds over the weekend and into early next week. High temperatures will remain in the forecast well into next week, but there’s a risk of isolated heavy showers in the south of the UK on Monday and Tuesday, although it should be largely fine for most areas.”

The East Midlands is currently on a level 2 alert for a heat wave issued by Public Health England which means there's a 70 % probability of Heat-Health Alert criteria being met between 0000 on Saturday and 0000 on Tuesday.

Temperatures could hit heatwave levels this weekend.

Public Health England's Scientific and Technical Lead Dr Owen Landeg said, “Much of the advice on beating the heat is common sense and for many people spells of warmer weather are something they very much enjoy. However, for some people, such as older people, those with underlying health conditions and young children, the summer heat can bring real health risks. That’s why we’re urging everyone to keep an eye on those you know who may be at risk.”

It's worth checking in your friends, family and neighbours to see if they need any help or support and take water with you when travelling and keep up to date with weather forecasts.

Looking ahead to next week, temperatures are expected to dip slightly from Wednesday and there’s an increasing chance of rain and thunderstorms in the forecast.

The Met Office's top ways to stay safe when the heat arrives are to:

  • Look out for those who may struggle to keep themselves cool and hydrated. Older people, those with underlying conditions and those who live alone are particularly at risk.

  • If you live alone, ask a relative or friend to phone to check that you are not having difficulties during periods of extreme heat.

  • Stay cool indoors: some of us will spend more time at home this summer so know how to keep your home cool.

  • Close curtains on rooms that face the sun to keep indoor spaces cooler and remember it may be cooler outdoors than indoors.

  • If going outdoors, use cool spaces considerately, keep your distance in line with social distancing guidelines.

  • Follow COVID-19 social distancing guidance and wash your hands regularly.

  • Drink plenty of fluids and avoid excess alcohol.

  • Never leave anyone in a closed, parked vehicle, especially infants, young children or animals.

  • Try to keep out of the sun between 11am to 3pm, when the UV rays are strongest.

  • Walk in the shade, apply sunscreen and wear a wide-brimmed hat, if you have to go out in the heat.

  • Avoid physical exertion in the hottest parts of the day.

  • Make sure you take water with you, if you are travelling.

  • Check the latest weather forecast and temperature warnings – you can find these on TV, radio, mobile app or website.

  • During warm weather going for a swim can provide much welcomed relief, take care and follow local safety advice, if you are going into open water to cool down.

  • Remember that while COVID-19 restrictions are in place, you will need to follow any additional government guidance to use public spaces safely.

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