UK heatwave: Britain could experience hottest night on record, as NHS advises people to keep windows shut

Lizzie Roberts
The UK could experience the hottest night on record as heatwave hits.  - PA

Britain is set for the hottest night on record, as the NHS advised it might be better to keep windows closed to fight the sweltering heat. 

Temperatures could remain as high as 24C (75.2F) on Tuesday night for parts of South East England, according to the Met Office.

The hottest ever UK night time temperature was 23.9C (75C), which was recorded in Brighton on August 3 1990. The hottest July night recorded was 23.3C (73.9F) on July 29 1948, at St James’ Palace, London.

Under the current heatwave, which is expected to last until the weekend, the mercury could hit 37C (98.6F) on Thursday.

Marco Petagna, Met Office forecaster said there was a "60% chance" Thursday's weather might surpass the current July record of 36.7C (98.06F) set at Heathrow in 2015 and a "30% chance" of going over the all time UK temperature record of 38.5C (101.3F) which was recorded in Faversham in August 2003.

In anticipation NHS England have released a list of “top tips” for beating the heat, including “splashing yourself with cool water” and keeping windows and blinds closed. 

They also advised people to remain hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids, including low-fat milk because it is more hydrating than full-fat.

Planning ahead and ensuring you have enough supplies, such as food, water and medications, was also recommended.

Night-time temperatures are measured by taking the minimum temperature across a 24-hour period, as the lowest point tends to fall during the early hours of the morning. 

“When minimum temperatures are greater than 20C (68F) we refer to those as tropical nights,” Luke Miall, a Met Office meteorologist, told The Telegraph.

“Not necessarily because it's going to feel tropical, but it helps people understand that these are the sorts of temperatures that you would expect in more tropical countries than ours.”

The UK could experience temperatures as high as 37C on Thursday. Credit: Alistair Grant/Alistair Grant

Mr Miall said the sweltering night time highs will also be experienced across other parts of the UK. 

“Wide swathes of East Anglia, the Midlands, parts of south east Wales and south west of England could well see temperatures of 19C to 21C, which might not necessarily break any records but its still pretty exceptional for the UK,” he said.

Sleep experts have offered advice on getting a good night's rest despite the high temperatures, including opening your attic hatch to release the hot air.  

Dr Neil Stanley, a sleep expert, said: “Sleeping downstairs is always a good one, heat does rise and if you go to hot countries they do sleep downstairs a lot of the time. 

“If you’ve got the ability, don’t sleep with your partner because there will be two bodies heating the space up rather than just the one.”

He also recommended creating a cross draft by opening windows in your bedroom, as well as a door, or another window, in another part of the house to create a breeze.

The commonly shared tip of keeping your bed sheets in the fridge does not work, Dr Stanley said, claiming it was a joke he made up in 2011.

“By the time you’ve taken them out of the fridge and put them on your bed they’re room temperature again,” he laughed. 

“The other thing to remember is the British spend a shed load of money each year to go to places that are warm and sleep perfectly well there.

“There’s a sense of mindset, that temperatures going over 30C (86F) is some sort of apocalyptic event, but it’s called summer.”

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