UK weather: 'Stay out of the sun' - Heatwave warning as temperatures rise

24 August 2019, 09:18 | Updated: 24 August 2019, 22:47

The Met Office is warning people to stay out of the sun as the UK experiences potentially record-breaking bank holiday temperatures.

A level three heatwave alert - the second highest level - has been extended so it now covers the South East and the East Midlands, as well as the east of England, and the hot weather is now expected to stay until Wednesday morning.

Temperatures throughout the weekend are predicted to reach highs of up to 31-32C (87.8-89.6F), which would break the August bank holiday record of 31.5C.

Met Office forecaster Craig Snell said: "Going forward into Sunday, for many of us it will be another sunny day.

"Sunday is the day when we possibly will break the record for the whole of the UK. And if it's not Sunday it could be Monday."

A new record in Wales has already been set after the temperature in Gogerddan, near Aberystwyth, reached 27.4C (81.3F), beating the 27.3C (81.1F) mark in Velindre, Powys, in 2013.

The temperature reached 30.5C (86.9F) at Heathrow on Saturday - a degree shy of the August bank holiday record set there in 2001.

A level three alert means people should take action to avoid the sun and keep cool. Much of the rest of England also has a level two "be alert" warning.

Public Heath England advice, based on Met Office data, for a level three heatwave includes:

  • Stay out of the sun
  • Keep your home as cool as possible - shading and shutting windows during the day
  • Only open windows when it is cooler at night
  • Keep drinking fluids
  • Make sure older friends and family members, and those who might be at risk, know what to do

Monday's temperatures are expected to be slightly lower, with the warmest conditions confined to the South East, according to the Met Office.

Forecasters say it will become increasingly unsettled in the North West, with rain and showers at times.

Parts of Scotland will remain cloudy throughout the weekend, with the highest temperature in Glasgow reaching 25C (75F) on Saturday.

The dry and settled weather for many is thanks to warm air being drawn to the UK from Europe.

Events over the bank holiday weekend include the Notting Hill Carnival in west London, where a million people are expected to enjoy sunshine.

Other large gatherings include the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Reading and Leeds festivals, Manchester Pride and Creamfields, near Warrington in Cheshire.

Last month, the UK recorded its highest temperature ever - with the mercury reaching 38.7C (101.7F) at Cambridge University Botanic Garden on 25 July.

That exceeded the previous record of 38.5C (101.3F) set in Faversham, Kent, in August 2003.

HM Coastguard has urged those planning a trip to the coast at the weekend to follow their safety tips:

  • Do not jump into the water from piers, rocks, cliffs or other structures that can lead to fatal incidents.
  • Look out for lifeguards, and choose beaches where lifeguards are on duty and take note of their advice, especially when you want to enjoy a swim.
  • Swim parallel to the shore and avoid most harbours and fast-flowing water.
  • Don't get carried away: Inflatables are not suitable for use in the sea and they can go from fun to potentially deadly in minutes, so best save them for swimming pools. Tide conditions, the wind and any changes in the weather can very quickly sweep them out to sea and beyond safe depths.