The weather forecasters have issued the unprecedented level 4 alert for Monday, July 18 and Tuesday, July 19 as the UK continues to bake in a heatwave. The Met Office warned of a “potentially very serious situation” as temperatures contine to soar to record highs.
Grahame Madge, Met Office spokesman, said: “We’ve just issued a red warning for extreme heat for Monday and Tuesday which is the first such warning ever issued.
“The warning covers an area from London up to Manchester and then up to the Vale of York.
“This is potentially a very serious situation.”
In the alert, forecasters said the “exceptional hot spell” would trigger “widespread impacts on people and infrastructure” and warned the extreme heat could lead to “serious illness or danger to life”.
The Met Office said on their website: “Exceptional, perhaps record-breaking, temperatures are likely on Monday, then again on Tuesday.
“Nights are also likely to be exceptionally warm for the UK, especially in urban areas. This is likely to lead to widespread impacts on people and infrastructure.”
The highest ever recorded temperature in Britain was 38.7C recorded in Cambridge University Botanic Garden on July 25 2019.
Met Office chief meteorologist Paul Gundersen, said “this level of heat can have adverse health effects”.
He said: “Exceptional, perhaps record-breaking temperatures are likely early next week, quite widely across the red warning area on Monday, and focussed a little more east and north on Tuesday.
“Currently there is a 50% chance we could see temperatures top 40C and 80 per cent we will see a new maximum temperature reached.
“Nights are also likely to be exceptionally warm, especially in urban areas. This is likely to lead to widespread impacts on people and infrastructure.
“Therefore, it is important people plan for the heat and consider changing their routines. This level of heat can have adverse health effects.”
Earlier this week, the UK Health Security Agency body and the Met Office issued a level 3 heat-health alert for some parts of the country, which requires social and healthcare services to take extra measures to protect the vulnerable.
The red, level 4, alert is described on the Met office website as being reached “when a heatwave is so severe and/or prolonged that its effects extend outside the health and social care system. At this level, illness and death may occur among the fit and healthy, and not just in high-risk groups”.
It reads: “Dangerous weather is expected and, if you haven’t already done so, you should take action now to keep yourself and others safe from the impact of the severe weather.
“It is very likely that there will be a risk to life, with substantial disruption to travel, energy supplies and possibly widespread damage to property and infrastructure. You should avoid travelling, where possible, and follow the advice of the emergency services and local authorities.”
In its heatwave plan, the UK Government says a national emergency may be declared “when a heatwave is so severe and/or prolonged that its effects extend outside the health and social care system”.
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