UK chances of heatwave now '40 per cent' and it could last 'several days'

The chance of a UK heatwave is now at "40 per cent", according to forecasters. The UK looks set to bid goodbye to chilly conditions and cooler air - at long last - after weeks of the temperatures and mercury struggling to get above the low-teens.

“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.

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“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.”

Looking at Thursday, the Met Office said: "Often cloudy and breezy in the far northwest with patchy rain. Fine elsewhere with lighter winds and warm spells of sunshine. A chance of showers in the extreme southeast later."

"Some rain in the north and west on Friday, and perhaps far southeast. Warm sunshine elsewhere. Isolated showers, but mostly fine this weekend. Becoming very warm in the sunshine," the outlook for Friday to Sunday adds.