Heat-health warning for London as UK set for hottest day of 2023

Heat-health warning for London as UK set for hottest day of 2023

High temperatures on Friday and this weekend will impact on those over 65 and with pre-existing health conditions, experts have warned.

Health authorities have issued the first heat-health alert of the year for six regions ahead of a surge in temperatures.

The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) and the Met Office said the alert would apply for 72 hours from 9am on Friday.

It will apply to London, the East Midlands, West Midlands, East of England, the South East and the South West.

London is likely to see “thundery showers” on Saturday despite temperatures hitting a high of 24C, according to the Met Office.

Saturday will be the warmest day, with forecasters expecting it to reach 27C or 28C, with a small chance of it hitting 29C, north of London.

In a statement, the UKHSA warned of an “impact across the health and social care sector” if current forecasted temperatures are reached.

The health agency urged Londoners to check on family, friends and neighbours who may be at higher risk of becoming unwell during the spell of hot weather.

Those at risk should also stay out of the sun from 11am until 3pm when temperatures peak, the UKHSA said.

Dr Agostinho Sousa, Head of Extreme Events and Health Protection at the UK Health Security Agency, said: “In the coming days we are likely to experience our first sustained period of hot weather of the year so far, so it’s important that everyone ensures they keep hydrated and cool while enjoying the sun.

“Forecasted temperatures this week will primarily impact those over the age of 65 or those with pre-existing health conditions such as respiratory and cardiovascular diseases.

“If you have friends, family or neighbours who you know are more vulnerable to the effects of hot weather, it is important you check in on them and ensure they are aware of the forecasts and are following the necessary advice.’’

The UK recorded 3,200 more deaths than the five-year average during last year’s summer heatwave, which saw the mercury soar past 40C in the capital for the first time ever.

The extreme heat prompted several large wildfires in the capital, with the London Fire Brigade experiencing their busiest day since the Second World War.

Figures released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed that an extra 3,271 fatalities were reported during the extended period of extreme heat in Britain throughout June, July and August 2022.

Dan Harris, Deputy Chief Meteorologist at the Met Office, said: “Temperatures will rise later this week and into the weekend, with a plume of warm air being drawn in from the south. Temperatures over the weekend could peak around 30°C in some parts of England and remain well above average overnight through the weekend.

“Coupled with the rise in temperatures is an increase in the likelihood of some potentially heavy and thundery showers, which could bring some localised disruption for some from late on Friday and into the weekend, though it is not possible to be definitive about exact details this far from the potential event.”