Weather forecast – latest: Britons swelter on hottest day of year, says Met Office

·27-min read
Weather forecast – latest: Britons swelter on hottest day of year, says Met Office

The Met Office has confirmed that today is the hottest day of the year so far after 28C was recorded in St James Park in central London this afternoon.

The forecaster added that the record would be beaten this year as temperatures are set to reach highs of 34C on Friday.

An increase in warm weather over the years in the UK has been linked to climate change, the Met Office has warned describing the sweltering conditions as “rare” for June.

Dr Mark McCarthy, the head of the Met Office National Climate Information Centre said: “Climate change has increased the average temperature of UK summers, and it is also increasing the likelihood of experiencing more extreme temperatures during hot spells and heatwaves.”

The Met Office and the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) issued a level 3 heat-health alert for south east England, London and east England while a a level 1 alert is in place for northern England.

Key Points

  • Today hottest day of the year, Met Office confirms

  • Met Office issues three-day heat alert

  • Temperature to reach highs of 34C

  • UK facing ‘record’ heatwaves this summer

Hot spell to build to a ‘crescendo’ on Friday

08:10 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

The hot spell in parts of Britain is set to build to a “crescendo” on Friday as temperatures soar to a sweltering 34C (93.2F).

The mercury will increase a few notches on Friday, with a sizzling 34C (93.2F) forecast in the the South East and temperatures between 27C (80.6F) and 30C (86F) across most of England and Wales, writes Kim Pilling.

The warm flow of weather is coming from Spain and Portugal, where daytime temperatures have exceeded 40C (104F) in southern Spain.

Britain’s highest recorded June UK temperature was 35.6C (96.1F) at Southampton Mayflower Park in June 1976 – the year of a notorious summer heatwave.

This year’s hottest day so far was the 27.5C (81.5F) set in mid-May at Heathrow.

Read more here:

Hot spell to build to a ‘crescendo’ on Friday

A sunny Thursday morning for most

07:45 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

This morning promises a bright and sunny start to the day with sunshine for England, Wales and eastern Scotland, ahead of the hot spell predicted for this afternoon, the Met Office said.

Northern Ireland and western Scotland are in for a “duller start” as rain is brought in by thicker clouds.

Spain ‘arrests protesting climate scientists’ amid earliest summer heatwave in history

07:30 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

Spain faces a deadly heatwave, set to worsen this week with temperatures forecast to approach 50C.

Scientists in Spain took to the streets in April to protest lack of action on the worsening climate crisis have reportedly been summoned to Spanish police stations this week, with at least one activist held.

During the protests, which were part of a broader demonstration by thousands of scientists around the world to highlight “the urgency and injustice of the climate and ecological crisis”, civil disobedience actions included spraying the facade of the national congress building in Madrid with red paint.

Spain ‘arrests protesting climate scientists’ amid historic heatwave

Heat ‘building day by day’, Met Office says

07:17 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

Wednesday was the hottest day of the year so far, but Thursday and Friday are set to be even warmer.

Met Office spokesman Grahame Madge said: “We have got the heat building day by day. The next couple of days will be hotter than the preceding day.

“We think at the moment, although there is some uncertainty, that the weather temperatures will peak on Friday and then largely we will be in for a cooler day on Saturday.

“Heat may remain, potentially, into Saturday but for most parts of the UK, because we have got a cold front moving down from further north, we will see temperatures coming back down – but they may just hang on in southern England.”

Tips for hot weather: Water, SPF, and car checks

07:00 , Lamiat Sabin

First aid and health response charity St John Ambulance has issued some tips on coping with the UK’s current spell of hot weather – that include drinking enough water and wearing high-factor sunscreen.

Its medical director, Dr Lynn Thomas, said: “If you’re out and about in the sunshine, it’s important to make sure you look after yourself by staying hydrated, keeping out of the sun at peak times, and by wearing sunscreen with a minimum SPF30.

“I would also encourage anyone with elderly relatives and neighbours to check in with them, as any increase in temperature can be dangerous.”

Wearing sunscreen with at least SPF 30 has been advised (Getty Images/iStockphoto)
Wearing sunscreen with at least SPF 30 has been advised (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Motoring association RAC also advised people to carry out checks on their cars, as it expects that the hot weather will result in an increase in vehicle breakdowns in areas where temperatures are forecast to hit highs of up to 34C on Friday.

RAC spokesman Rod Dennis said: “With the temperature ramping up very rapidly this week, we’re expecting a short, sharp spike in breakdowns, especially in central and southern parts of the UK.

“It’s important drivers don’t get caught out, so we’re advising they check their car’s oil and coolant levels as soon as they possibly can, particularly if they have a long trip planned in the hottest part of the day.

“Drivers should also stay hydrated, which has been shown to have a positive effect on their concentration levels.

“Passengers should also be kept as cool and comfortable as possible, so carry plenty of water and plan in sufficient breaks to avoid an already hot car becoming even more heated.”

34C in June rare but not unprecedented, Met office says

06:45 , Sravasti Dasgupta

The Met Office has said that while the 34C forecast for Wednesday is a rare event in the UK, it is not unprecedented.

“Reaching 34C during June is a rare, but not unprecedented, event in the historical climate records for the UK. But if it should happen this week it would be notable that it would have occurred on three days during the last six Junes,” said Dr Mark McCarthy, head of the Met Office National Climate Information Centre.

The other days where the mercury hit 34C was on 21 June 2017 and 29 June 2019.

Before that the only June exceedances - when England saw a number of stations reach 34C or higher - were 3 June 1947, 29 June 1957, and 26-28 June 1976, the Met Office added

How hot does it need to be before workers should be sent home by their employers?

06:30 , Sravasti Dasgupta

The Met Office has issued an alert for Friday and Saturday this week, with temperatures expected to soar to 34C.

But can employees leave work if it gets too hot?

Sabrina Barr explains:

Can you legally leave work if it becomes too hot?

Temperatures on the rise across Europe

06:15 , Sravasti Dasgupta

UK is not the only country in Europe seeing soaring temperatures this week.

Higher temperatures have been forecast across several countries in Europe.

Take a look:

Hottest areas on Wednesday

05:54 , Sravasti Dasgupta

Here are the areas that recorded the highest temperatures on Wednesday, according to the Met Office.

Wednesday recorded as hottest day of the year

05:33 , Sravasti Dasgupta

Temperatures on Wednesday reached 28C in parts of London, and parts of the southeast were exceptionally hot as Britons sweltered in the hottest day of the year.

Temperatures are expected to soar to 34C on Friday.

The 28C recorded at St James’s Park in central London on Wednesday eclipsed the 27.5C set in mid-May at Heathrow.

Thomas Kingsley reports:

Britons swelter in 28C heat on hottest day of the year

What is causing the heatwave in the UK?

05:00 , Lamiat Sabin

The warm flow of weather is coming from Spain and Portugal, where daytime temperatures have exceeded 40C in southern Spain.

But the warm weather is also “home-grown”, according to the Met Office, and climate change has also been cited as a reason.

Met Office spokesman Grahame Madge said: “We have got high pressure at the moment so we are getting a certain amount of natural home-grown heat building up because obviously we have got clear skies and fairly dry ground conditions across southern England.

“We have also got warmer air being brought up from further south in Europe where there has been a major heat incident, particularly in Iberia, so that’s leading to the sort of crescendo we will see on Friday.”

A woman fans herself during the first heatwave of the year in Seville, Spain (Marcelo del Pozo/Reuters)
A woman fans herself during the first heatwave of the year in Seville, Spain (Marcelo del Pozo/Reuters)

Dr Mark McCarthy, head of the Met Office’s National Climate Information Centre, said: “Climate change has increased the average temperature of UK summers, and it is also increasing the likelihood of experiencing more extreme temperatures during hot spells and heatwaves.

“Reaching 34C during June is a rare, but not unprecedented, event in the historical climate records for the UK. But if it should happen this week it would be notable that it would have occurred on three days during the last six Junes.”

The UK’s weather for Thursday, Friday and weekend

03:30 , Lamiat Sabin

On Wednesday, the UK recorded its highest temperature of the year so far.

A temperature of 28.2C was recorded at Kew Gardens, in southwest London.

But it’s expected that most of the rest of the week is going to be even warmer across most of the UK.

Forecasters expect London to be sweltering in 29C heat on Thursday, with other parts of the country not expected to be much cooler.

Friday is set to sizzle with an expected high of up to 34C in the capital, while most parts of the midlands, south, and Wales are set to enjoy temperatures in the high 20s and breaking into the 30s.

Scotland and northern England are not forecast to have such sweltering heat, with most parts to have temperatures of roughly 15C to 20C.

Over the weekend, it’s forecast that the temperatures in hotter parts of the UK will drop to a cooler range of 19C to 24C, with some heavy rain.

Analysis: Will heatwaves wake us up to the impact of the climate crisis?

02:00 , Liam James

As heatwaves grip the northern hemisphere, Harry Cockburn, The Independent’s environment correspondent, considers how governments will respond to hotter and earlier summers:

Analysis: Will heatwaves wake us up to the impact of the climate crisis?

UK weather: Britons swelter in 28C heat on hottest day of the year

Thursday 16 June 2022 00:30 , Liam James

Britons have sweltered in the hottest day of the year, marking the start of a heatwave with temperatures expected to soar to 34C on Friday (Thomas Kingsley writes).

Temperatures on Wednesday reached 28C in parts of London, and parts of the southeast were exceptionally hot.

The UK Health Security Agency and the Met Office issued a Level 3 heat-health alert – the second-highest on a scale of 0-4 – for London, east of England and the southeast, with a level 1 alert in place for northern England.

The 28C recorded at St James’s Park in central London makes it the hottest day of the year so far, eclipsing the 27.5C set in mid-May at Heathrow.

Parts of the UK were forecast to be warmer than Greek Islands Santorini, Mykonos and Zakynthos – as well as Los Angeles and parts of Barbados.

Britons swelter in 28C heat on hottest day of the year

Spain’s heatwave hits young birds hard

Wednesday 15 June 2022 23:00 , Liam James

Spain‘s earliest heatwave in over 40 years is causing extreme stress to the country’s birds and leading baby birds, nesting in buildings, to fall out of their nests as they try to escape the high temperatures.

A team at a bird recovery centre in Madrid is treating scores of dehydrated and undernourished baby swifts that fell from their nests in building facades or roof cavities, after they tried to leave before they could properly fly.

“Birds are suffering especially in this very early heat wave in June that we are having in Spain,” David Howell, climate and energy adviser at SEO Birdlife told Reuters.

“They suffer especially from heat stress and thirst and even in some cases they have to leave the nest to try to find cooler temperatures. For that reason during this period many chicks and nesting fledglings are [found] on the ground, just because they are trying to escape the excess heat.”

The heatwave, which has coincided with the hatching season, is expected to last until the end of the week, with temperatures surpassing 40C in many parts of Spain. Night temperatures are also unusually high at between 20C and 25C.

Reuters

Temperatures hit 43C in Spain’s hottest spring heatwave in decades

Wednesday 15 June 2022 21:30 , Liam James

Spain has been hit by its first major heatwave of the year, with temperatures reaching 43C in some parts of the country.

Extreme heat warnings are in place across the country, which is grappling with its earliest heatwave in more than four decades.

Temperatures have been topping 40C over the past few days, with scorching weather expected to last throughout the week.

On Tuesday, forecasters told areas in Seville, Andalusia, Cordoba and Jaen to expect 43C weather.

Others – including Madrid and Barcelona – are also facing heat warnings throughout the day with temperatures in the late 30C and early 40C forecast.

Temperatures hit 43C in Spain’s hottest spring heatwave in decades

France fights forest fire as early heatwave spreads

Wednesday 15 June 2022 20:20 , Liam James

More than 100 firefighters were deployed on Wednesday to tackle a forest fire in southern France, as forecasters said one of the earliest heatwaves in decades was threatening to engulf parts of the country.

The blaze in the Lozere region, which had burned 70 hectares, had been brought under control overnight but there was a high risk that it could reignite, the local prefecture said.

State forecaster Meteo France said a “severe and early heatwave”, caused by a mass of hot air moving up from north Africa, was settling in.

It defines a heatwave as a period of abnormally high temperatures sustained over several days, and said 40C could be passed on Friday in the southwest.

Weather channel La Chaine Meteo said that, if confirmed, 17 June would be the earliest date on record in France that this temperature threshold was crossed.

France’s highest ever temperature – 46C – was recorded on 28 June 28, 201 in the southern village of Verargues.

Heatwave grips central US

Wednesday 15 June 2022 19:10 , Liam James

Another sweltering hot day has gripped the middle third of the United States, where dangerously high temperatures were stuck well above normal while officials warned people to stay indoors and hydrated.

Millions of Americans who live in major cities such as Chicago, Detroit and Atlanta were under heat advisories as the heat index, a measure of what the temperature feels like to the human body, was to climb past 38C, the US National Weather Service (NWS) said.

“Extreme heat and humidity will significantly increase the potential for heat related illnesses particularly for those working or participating in outdoor activities,” it said.

It is the second day of stifling weather for the middle third of the nation, from Wisconsin and Michigan south through Tennessee and Georgia and into Florida where temperatures neared records in some parts. Many towns have set up cooling stations and centres to help residents get out of the heat.

More than 325,000 homes and businesses in Ohio, West Virginia, Indiana, Michigan and Wisconsin were without electricity on Wednesday morning, Poweroutage.us reported.

RAC warns hot weather will drive spike in breakdowns

Wednesday 15 June 2022 18:05 , Liam James

As the temperature spikes, so will the number of breakdowns on Britain’s roads.

Drivers often are not aware that the summer heat can be just as hard on cars as the winter cold.

The RAC says the main causes of breakdowns in the heat are battery and alternator issues, worn tyres and clutch failure due to driving on busier roads as people head out of town to enjoy the sun.

RAC spokesman Rod Dennis said: “With the temperature ramping up very rapidly this week, we’re expecting a short, sharp spike in breakdowns, especially in central and southern parts of the UK.

“It’s important drivers don’t get caught out, so we’re advising they check their car’s oil and coolant levels as soon as they possibly can, particularly if they have a long trip planned in the hottest part of the day.

“Drivers should also stay hydrated, which has been shown to have a positive effect on their concentration levels.

“Passengers should also be kept as cool and comfortable as possible, so carry plenty of water and plan in sufficient breaks to avoid an already hot car becoming even more heated.”

UKHSA upgrades health alert

Wednesday 15 June 2022 17:00 , Thomas Kingsley

The UK Health Security Agency has upgraded the heat alert to a level three.

This comes after the Met Office confirmed today was the hottest day of the year following 28C weather recorded in central London this afternoon marking the beginning of the heatwave across the UK.

NEW: Today hottest day of the year, Met Office confirms

Wednesday 15 June 2022 16:37 , Thomas Kingsley

The Met Office has confirmed today is the hottest day of the year so far as 28C was recorded in St James Park in central London.

UK weather: Dog owners warned over ‘silent killer’ ahead of 34C heat

Wednesday 15 June 2022 15:45 , Thomas Kingsley

Dog owners have been warned about a “silent killer” for pets as the UK braces for a heatwave with highs of 34C.

Parts of the South East, London and Wales could reach 28C on Wednesday and rising to over 30C from Friday - making parts of the UK hotter than Portugal, Jamaica, Costa Rica, the Canary Islands and Cyprus.

Responding to forecasts of incoming sizzling heat, the RSPCA has warned dog owners not to walk their pets in the heat.

Read the full story below:

Dog owners warned over ‘silent killer’ ahead of 34C heat

Why are we having a heatwave?

Wednesday 15 June 2022 15:30 , Thomas Kingsley

Met Office Deputy Chief Meteorologist, Jason Kelly, said; “The heat is a result of a mix of home-grown warming due to a high pressure over the southern half of the UK, as well as a south westerly airflow bringing warm air, which has been over continent through the week, across the country.”

“This is the first spell of hot weather this year and it is unusual for temperatures to exceed these values in June. Some areas may see warm nights with minimum temperatures expected to be in the high teens or even low 20Cs overnight, especially in urban areas such as London.”

Dr Mark McCarthy is the head of the Met Office National Climate Information Centre said climate change has increased the average temperature of UK summers and also increased the likelihood of experiencing more extreme temperatures during hot spells and heatwaves

“Reaching 34C during June is a rare, but not unprecedented, event in the historical climate records for the UK. But if it should happen this week it would be notable that it would have occurred on three days during the last six Junes.” The other days being 21 June 2017 and 29 June 2019.

Heatwaves increasing in frequency, scientists warn

Wednesday 15 June 2022 15:15 , Thomas Kingsley

Dr Friederike Otto, Senior Lecturer in Climate Science, the Grantham Institute for Climate Change, Imperial College London, said:

"Climate change is a real game changer when it comes to heatwaves, they have increased in frequency, intensity & duration across the world because of our burning of fossil fuels. Trends in heat extremes are particularly strong in Europe though, where many studies have shown that they have increased in frequency by a factor of 100 or more due to human-caused climate change.”

 (PA)
(PA)

Wednesday 15 June 2022 15:00 , Thomas Kingsley

First aid and health response charity St John Ambulance has issued some tips to handle the hot weather.

Its medical director Dr Lynn Thomas said: “If you're out and about in the sunshine, it's important to make sure you look after yourself by staying hydrated, keeping out of the sun at peak times, and by wearing sunscreen with a minimum SPF 30.

“I would also encourage anyone with elderly relatives and neighbours to check in with them, as any increase in temperature can be dangerous.”

How to keep your house cool in a heatwave

Wednesday 15 June 2022 14:30 , Thomas Kingsley

As the heatwave approaches the UK, Britons have already begun complaining about difficulties sleeping in the sweltering heat. Temperatures could climb to 34C on Friday so it’s important to know how to keep your home cool, especially if you don’t have air conditioning.

From closing your windows during the day to building your own DIY AC, here is what you can do to lower the temperature in your home.

Read more below:

How to keep your house cool in a heatwave

Climate change increased average UK temperature, Met Office says

Wednesday 15 June 2022 14:10 , Thomas Kingsley

Dr Mark McCarthy, head of the Met Office's National Climate Information Centre, said: “Climate change has increased the average temperature of UK summers, and it is also increasing the likelihood of experiencing more extreme temperatures during hot spells and heatwaves.

“Reaching 34C during June is a rare, but not unprecedented, event in the historical climate records for the UK. But if it should happen this week it would be notable that it would have occurred on three days during the last six Junes.”

The previous year such temperatures were reached in June was 1976.

 (PA Wire)
(PA Wire)

What’s the difference between heatwave and stroke?

Wednesday 15 June 2022 13:30 , Thomas Kingsley

The NHS and UKHSA have issued health alerts ahead of hot weather scheduled to hit the UK this week, with Friday set to be the hottest day since 1976 with a possible high of 34C.

Today is set to be the warmest day of the year so far at 28C.

Heat exhaustion occurs when the body is exposed to high temperatures and excessive sweating, typically from a loss of water and salt in the body.

Read the full story below:

What is the difference between heat exhaustion and heat stroke?

How can you tell you’re dehydrated?

Wednesday 15 June 2022 13:00 , Thomas Kingsley

As the southwestern United States and the UK prepares for a heat wave, knowing when you’re dehydrated can help save you from heat exhaustion, or even fatal illnesses like heatstroke.

A “dangerous” heat wave is on the way for millions of Americans living in the southwest, including Texas, Arizona, Nevada, and parts of California. Temperatures have already started to rise this week up to 110 degrees Fahrenheit (43 C), and are expected to peak throughout the weekend.

When temperatures rise, maintaining proper hydration is key to practicing heat safety. But how can you tell if someone, or yourself, is dehydrated?

Read the full story here

Pollen and UV levels also due to reach dangerous highs

Wednesday 15 June 2022 12:24 , Thomas Kingsley

Pollen and UV levels are also set to reach dangerous highers, the Met Office has said.

As temperatures reached 30C and above from Thursday, pollen levels in London, Leeds and Swansea are also set to reach dangerously high levels contributing to hayfever difficulties for sufferes.

Glastonbury weather latest: Forecast for Somerset next week as heatwave hits UK

Wednesday 15 June 2022 11:50 , Thomas Kingsley

Glastonbury 2022 is just a week away, with the iconic music festival set to go ahead after two years of pandemic-related cancellations.

Billie Eilish, Paul McCartney and Kendrick Lamar are headlining the weekend, with hundreds of other acts lined up across the festival’s many stages.

While the festival is taking place later this month, weather experts have already predicted what the weather is likely to be like in Worthy Farm during the five-day event.

A heatwave is expected to hit the UK over the coming week – but what this means for Glastonbury remains to be seen.

Read the full story below:

Latest Glastonbury forecast as Met Office issues heatwave warning

Parts of US also bracing for heatwave

Wednesday 15 June 2022 11:25 , Thomas Kingsley

On the other side of the Atlantic, Americans are also preparing for a heatwave with one hundred million people being warned to stay indoors as temperatures soar due to a record-breaking heatwave stretching from the Gulf Coast to the Carolinas.

Until midweek, as many as 107.5 million people will be affected by a heatwave engulfing a large number of states from central Nebraska to West Virginia, north into Wisconsin and south into Mississippi, the National Weather Service said.

Read the full story here

Everything you need to know about sunscreen ahead of the heatwave

Wednesday 15 June 2022 11:05 , Thomas Kingsley

When spending time outdoors in the sun, it's essential that you have a constant supply of sunscreen at hand, so that you're ready to top up your sun protection on a regular basis.

However, with so many different types of sunscreen on the market, it can be difficult to decipher which are actually providing your skin with an adequate degree of protection.

Read below for everything you need to know about sunscreen, from knowing which brands will protect you in the water to understanding the difference between UVA and UVB rays:

From expiration date to SPF: Everything you need to know about sunscreen

Wednesday 15 June 2022 10:15 , Thomas Kingsley

The London Fire Brigade has also issued a weather warning ahead of incoming warm weather this week.

As Britons prepare to set up park BBQs and other outdoor activities in the sweltering heat, the brigade warned the public against leaving BBQs in the open grass and dangerously disposing of cigarette buds.

Fire service issue cold water warning ahead of heatwave

Wednesday 15 June 2022 09:49 , Thomas Kingsley

Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service has issued a warning about cold water shock ahead of the heatwave hitting parts of the UK.

“It may be going to be the hottest day of the year so far, but water is still cold - and not just by the coast either. If you enter cold water & your body goes into shock, would you know what to do?” the service wrote in a Twitter post with an attached video providing guidance.

How long will the heatwave last

Wednesday 15 June 2022 09:10 , Thomas Kingsley

Although temperatures will reach highs that haven’t been experienced in over three decades, the heat wave will only run a short period, the Met Office has said.

After Friday’s peak highs of 33C and 34C, temperatures will begin to drop across parts of the UK. According to BBC Weather, temperatures in Birmingham will go from 28C on Friday to 15C on Saturday, while temperatures in Birmingham will drop from 30C on Friday to 18C on Saturday.

Temperatures in the south-east England, however, will hover around 30C on Saturday as warm weather persists in this region.

How to sleep during a heatwave according to experts

Wednesday 15 June 2022 08:40 , Thomas Kingsley

Following a rather damp and windy August, parts of the UK is expected to see temperatures soaring in the week ahead.

The Met Office said people in some areas will bask in sweltering heat and sunshine from Monday to Wednesday, with with temperatures hitting almost 30C. The mercury is expected to exceed the average for September, which is 18C in the UK.

A location meets the UK heatwave threshold when it records a period of at least three consecutive days with daily maximum temperature levels which vary across the country.

These include 25C for central England and Wales - where it has been forecast the threshold could be exceeded - and 28C for London and the South East.

Read the full story below:

How to sleep during a heatwave, according to experts

Britons to bask in hottest day of year as Wednesday signals start of heatwave

Wednesday 15 June 2022 08:12 , Thomas Kingsley

Britons are set to bask in the hottest day of the year on Wednesday, marking the start of a heatwave with temperatures soaring to 34C later in the week.

The Met Office and the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) have issued a level 2 heat-health alert for a large part of southern and central England, with a level 1 alert in place for northern England.

Temperatures will sizzle from Wednesday, which will see highs of 28C in parts of the South East.

It would make it the hottest day of the year so far, eclipsing the 27.5C set in mid-May at Heathrow.

Read the full story below:

Britons to bask in hottest day of year as Wednesday signals start of heatwave

Watch: Latest Met Office forecast

Wednesday 15 June 2022 07:36 , Thomas Kingsley

Dangerous heat wave descends on parts of Midwest and Southern US

Wednesday 15 June 2022 06:50 , Aisha Rimi

A dangerous heat wave hit much of the Midwest and South on Tuesday, with temperatures hitting triple digits in Chicago and combining with the humidity to make it feel even hotter there and in other sweltering cities.

More than 100 million people were expected to be affected by midweek and authorities warned residents to stay hydrated, remain indoors when possible and be aware of the health risks of high temperatures.

Strong storms brought heavy rain and damaging wind to many of the affected areas on Monday, and more than 500,000 customers remained without power early Tuesday evening, including more than 350,000 in Ohio, according to https://poweroutage.us/.

Excessive heat warnings are in effect for much of Illinois and Indiana along with parts of Minnesota, Iowa, Michigan and Ohio from Tuesday through Wednesday night according to the National Weather Service.

Heat index values — which take into account the temperature and relative humidity and indicate how hot it feels outdoors — approached and topped 40C in some locations, including Chicago, the weather service said.

A heat advisory also was issued, stretching from as far north as Wisconsin down to the Florida Panhandle on the Gulf coast.

Northern Arizona watches winds as Western wildfires blaze

Wednesday 15 June 2022 05:50 , Aisha Rimi

Calmer winds and cooler temperatures on Tuesday allowed firefighters across the western US to get a better handle on blazes that have forced hundreds of people from their homes.

As red flag warnings expired and winds died down in northern Arizona, firefighters took advantage of the weather changes to attack a 31-square-mile (81-square-kilometer) blaze by air and at the fire’s edges.

The forecast for later this week called for a chance of showers, which could dampen the blaze but might bring the chance of new fires from lightning strikes.

Meanwhile, authorities have downgraded evacuations for the larger of two wildfires burning on the outskirts of Flagstaff, Arizona.