Chance of heatwave at 40pc as UK says goodbye to chill of early June

People enjoying the improving weather on Wednesday on Potters Field by the Thames
People enjoying the improving weather on Wednesday on Potters Field by the Thames - Amer Ghazzal/Alamy Live News

The UK has a 40 per cent chance of a heatwave in some areas next week, the Met Office has said, as promises of summer finally shine through.

After a relatively chilly start to June forecasters now predict a “fine and settled” spell of weather next week, with top temperatures likely to exceed 25C for at least two or three days.

A heatwave is defined as three or more days of very hot temperatures, ranging from 28C in London to 25C in other parts of the country.

“A gradual trend towards more settled and warmer weather is likely into next week as high pressure extends northeast from the Azores,” said Andrea Bishop, a spokesman for the Met Office.

“There’s a chance that this could persist for several days leading to a spell of higher than average temperatures, however details are likely to become clearer as we move through this week.”

She added: “Temperatures are likely to remain above average, but confidence in the forecast is reduced beyond Wednesday. On the whole, this is fairly typical of an early summer high temperature event.”

Ms Bishop cautioned that there was still a less than 50 per cent chance that parts of the UK could approach heatwave thresholds.

But the warmer weather will be a welcome change from the first few weeks of June, which have been relatively cool, with temperatures lingering in the teens.

Weather in the UK has been in stark contrast to the rest of Europe, and parts of the Middle East and Asia, which have sweltered in temperatures above 40C.

Killer heat in rest of world

On Wednesday, the Red Cross warned British tourists to beware of heatstroke symptoms, after the deaths of Michael Mosley, the doctor and health broadcaster, and several others in Greece.

More than 550 people have died while on pilgrimage to the Muslim holy site of Mecca in Saudi Arabia as temperatures exceeded 50C.

“High temperatures make it harder for the body to cool itself and we all need to take care to manage the health risks of heat,” William Spencer, the climate and first aid product manager at the British Red Cross, said.

“If you are travelling to a country experiencing extreme heat, there are several steps you can take to keep yourself and others safe.

“We would advise people to plan ahead for the effects of heat on their trip, making sure they know how to recognise the symptoms of heat exhaustion and heatstroke, and avoiding activities in the middle of the day when temperatures are highest.”