Yesterday saw the hottest August day in 17 years after temperatures rocketed to 36.4C in Heathrow and Kew Gardens. And the weekend is expected to see the mercury rise well above average once again.
The Met Office said today started with an “impressive” 20C difference between parts of Scotland and southeast England.
Forecaster Marco Petagna said: “Temperatures will probably be peaking at 35C with a small chance of 36C – it is still very hot.
“It will still be very hot in the South East but with the potential for an isolated shower to break out.”
As Britons head to beaches to enjoy the heatwave, the Met Office has issued a level three heat-health warning for the South and the South East.
Temperatures are set to soar this weekend
Sunseekers expected to flock to beaches
This means people should look out for others, particularly the elderly, children and people in poor health.
Ishani Kar-Purkayastha, a consultant at Public Health England, said: “This summer, many of us are spending more time at home due to COVID-19.
“A lot of homes can overheat, so it’s important we continue to check on older people and those with underlying health conditions, particularly if they’re living alone and may be socially isolated.”
Although the heatwave is expected to continue throughout the weekend, it will only be short-lived as thunderstorms are expected.
British beaches expected to be busy this weekend
Dan Harris, Met Office deputy chief meteorologist, said thunderstorms are on the way and warned some places could be hit with up to 80mm of rain.
He said: “We’ve issued a broad thunderstorm warning for Monday and Tuesday for all parts of the UK, since although the ingredients are there, it’s just too early to pinpoint the details of exactly where and when thunderstorms will occur.
“As such, we will be monitoring the developing signals closely and I urge people to keep a close eye on Met Office warnings and forecasts over the coming days.”
Bob Ward, from the Grantham Institute of Climate Change, warned the heatwaves in the UK are getting hotter each year and can be deadly.
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He told Sky News: “As your report pointed out, yesterday was the warmest day in August we’ve seen since 2003.
“Remember in 2003, we had an exceptional heatwave which killed 2,000 people here and 70,000 people across Europe.
“With yesterday’s high temperature, we’ve had two days this summer already that rank in the top ten warmest days ever recorded in the UK so this is an exceptional period of hot weather.”
Mr Ward believes the increasing heatwaves are because of climate change.
Public Health England warn of heatwave
He continued: “It is part of a pattern we are seeing heatwave conditions increasing in frequency and intensity because of climate change.
“We are seeing different weather patterns but the general average trend across the UK is it’s getting warmer.
“In summer that increase in temperature can be deadly because we get these extreme periods.
”So our heatwaves, the peak temperatures we are seeing in heatwaves are getting hotter.
“Remember, the hottest temperature ever recorded in the UK occurred last summer and the summer before was tied with the warmest we’ve ever seen in the UK.
“So it is a clear pattern and whilst these extremes of heat are OK for people in good health but are deadly for people who have underlying health conditions and who are susceptible to heat.”