Britain could fall into drought this summer as the dry weather puts increased pressure on water supplies, officials warned on Monday.
The National Drought Group, made up officials from government, water companies and environmental groups, will meet on Tuesday to discuss ways to cope with low rainfall, which could include hosepipe bans and other water restrictions being placed on households, farmers and businesses.
It comes as the MetOffice said London could experience hot spells and thunderstorms in August following record-breaking temperatures in July.
The south of the UK could see “anything from the mid 20s to the low 30s,” next week - making it likely to be above average for this time of the year.
Stephen Dixon, a spokesperson for the Met Office, said: “Our medium-range models are showing the potential for some above average temperatures in the south of the UK at the start of next week, although the extent and duration of any warmth is still open to some uncertainty at this kind of range.
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“Anything from the mid 20s to the low 30s is still possible in the south early next week and we’ll be keeping an eye on this in the coming days.”
Mr Dixon added: “Looking through later August, temperatures could be above average for a time in the south, with a chance of some even warmer interludes within that period.
“Further north is more likely to be closer to their average for the time of year. However, from mid-to-late August there’s a chance of some periods of showers or thunderstorms, while the north could see some more organised rain for a time. As always, details on these individual periods of weather will become clearer nearer the time.”
More prolonged dry weather could force the Environment Agency and Defra to declare a national drought next month.
The south and east of England has already been put in “prolonged dry weather status” due to low rainfall in the winter and spring.
This means the areas are already in the early stages of a drought, according to the Environment Agency.
The last time an official drought was declared in the UK was in 2018.