UK on red alert as Met Office issues warning of ‘exceptional hot spell’ on Monday and Tuesday

The Met Office has issued its first extreme heat weather warning covering much of England, warning of an “exceptional hot spell on Monday and Tuesday leading to widespread impacts on people and infrastructure.”

It warned the extreme heat could lead to a "potentially very serious situation".

Grahame Madge, Met Office spokesman, said: "We've just issued a red warning for extreme heat for Monday and Tuesday which is the first such warning ever issued.

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"The warning covers an area from London up to Manchester and then up to the Vale of York.

"This is potentially a very serious situation."

Elsewhere, train passengers are being warned of major disruption from extreme heat on rail lines as ministers said the NHS was braced for a “surge” in demand.

The Met Office red warning covers London and much of central England (Met Office)
The Met Office red warning covers London and much of central England (Met Office)

The Met Office predicts “exceptional, perhaps record-breaking, temperatures” on Monday, then again on Tuesday.

“Nights are also likely to be exceptionally warm, especially in urban areas. This is likely to lead to widespread impacts on people and infrastructure.

“Temperatures are expected to drop away from Wednesday onwards.”

The red warning is published in full on the Met Office UK weather warnings dashboard.

It states that Britons should expect:

  • Population-wide adverse health effects experienced, not limited to those most vulnerable to extreme heat, leading to serious illness or danger to life. Government advice is that 999 services should be used in emergencies only; seek advice from 111 if you need non-emergency health advice.

  • Substantial changes in working practices and daily routines will be required

  • High risk of failure of heat-sensitive systems and equipment, potentially leading to localised loss of power and other essential services, such as water or mobile phone services

  • Significantly more people visiting coastal areas, lakes and rivers, leading to an increased risk of water safety incidents

  • Delays on roads and road closures, along with delays and cancellations to rail and air travel, with significant welfare issues for those who experience even moderate delays

Some schools in England have already indicated they will close on Monday.