UK weather – live: Heatwave warning as hospital turns away patients

·12-min read

Patients without life threatening illnesses are set to be turned away from A&E in Portsmouth as the UK’s heatwave puts extreme pressure on hospitals.

The heat coupled with staffing difficulties has forced Portsmouth Hospitals University Foundation Trust to declare a critical incident.

South Central Ambulance Trust, covering parts of the Midlands and southern England, also declared an incident due to heightened pressure.

The heatwave has only just begun and forecasters have refused to rule out the possibility the UK could see record 40C temperatures towards the end of the week.

An amber extreme heat alert has been issued for “exceptionally high” temperatures on Sunday, with forecasters warning the conditions have the potential to cause serious illness or even death.

A Level Three Heat Health Alert covers east, southeast and southwest England until Friday, with a level 2 alert in place for the rest of England.

Scientists say heatwaves are now more intense and more frequent because of global heating caused by burning fossil fuels. They are also the deadliest extreme weather events in the UK.

Key Points

  • Britain set for hottest day of the year

  • Met Office can’t rule out record 40C heat later this week

  • Level 3 heat health warning issued

  • Amber extreme heat warning issued

  • Britons urged to ration water in heatwave

Heatwaves ‘more frequent, longer and hotter’ due to climate change

20:00 , Liam James

Climate change is pushing up sweltering summer temperatures, experts said as they warned that the UK needs to urgently adapt to a future with more heatwaves (Emily Beament writes).

Dr Friederike Otto, a senior lecturer at the Grantham Institute for Climate Change at Imperial College London, said the soaring temperatures facing the UK would not have been as high without global warming.

“Every heatwave we are experiencing now has been made more frequent, longer and hotter because of climate change,” she told the PA news agency.

“Of course, every extreme weather event has also an element of just the chaotic natural variability of the weather system.

“There would have been high temperatures without climate change, but they would not have been as high as what we will see – no matter what exactly we will see, we know for sure it would have been cooler without climate change.”

Dr Otto, one of the scientists behind pioneering studies that attribute the role of climate change in extreme weather events, warned that heatwaves kill.

Heatwaves ‘more frequent, longer and hotter’ due to climate change

Wales records hottest day of year so far

19:09 , Liam James

Soaring temperatures saw Wales record its hottest day of the year so far on Monday.

At 6pm on Monday, the Met Office tweeted: “Temperatures widely in excess of 30C across much of England with Wales having it’s hottest day of the year so far.”

In Wales, the temperature reached 28.7C in Cardiff’s Bute Park.

The highest temperatures recorded for the rest of the UK today were 32C in London, 27.5C in Aboyne, Aberdeenshire and 24.2C in Armagh, Northern Ireland.

Hospital turns away patients as heatwave forces critical incident

18:08 , Liam James

Patients who do not have life threatening illnesses are set to be turned away by A&E in Portsmouth as the UK’s heatwave drives extreme hospital pressures.

Staffing pressures coupled with additional pressures from the current heatwave have forced Portsmouth Hospitals University Foundation Trust to declare a critical incident.

Updates to follow from Rebecca Thomas at this link:

Hospital turns away patients as heatwave forces critical incident

Motoring associations urge drivers to stay hydrated

17:24 , Liam James

Motoring associations have urged drivers to carry water with them in the hot weather.

The AA Driving School and RAC have issued several tips for avoiding catastrophe in the potentially dangerous heat, including starting car journeys earlier in the day, planning routes and checking vehicles before setting off on any journeys.

RAC Breakdown spokesman Rod Dennis said: “An amber warning for extreme heat over such a wide area is rare and as a result we strongly urge drivers in England and Wales to think carefully before they drive, and do everything they can to avoid a breakdown.

“This starts with checking the coolant and oil levels under the bonnet when the engine is cold. Oil should be topped up if it’s low, and if coolant isn’t between the ‘min’ and ‘max’ levels then drivers should top it up or take it to a reputable garage to get it checked without delay.”

Met Office can’t rule out record 40C heat later this week

16:03 , Tom Barnes

More from the Met Office on the extreme heat warning for Sunday, which the forecaster issued earlier this afternoon - forecasters are refusing to rule out temperatures hitting 40C (yes, forty) towards the end of the week.

The UK has never recorded a temperature of 40C, the hottest-ever day came in July 2019, when the mercury rose to 38.7C in Cambridge.

Rebekah Sherwin from the Met Office said that while there was currently only a low possibility of such temperatures, several weather forecasting models were currently predicting the 40C barrier would be passed in the UK next week.

Ms Sherwin said it was likely temperatures would still hit the mid to high 30s, meaning it is possible we could still see a new record hottest UK day.

“Weather forecast models are run hundreds of times to determine the most likely weather outcome,” She said. “For late in next weekend and early next week, some runs of these models are allowing exceptionally high temperatures to develop, which is something we’ll be monitoring closely and adding details in the coming days.

“Some models have been producing maximum temperatures in excess of 40C in parts of the UK over the coming weekend and beyond.

“At longer time scales temperature forecasts become less reliable, so whilst these figures can’t be ruled out, they are still only a low probability. A number of weather scenarios are still possible and at the current time, mid- or perhaps high-30s are looking more likely.”

Council to deploy gritters on melting roads

15:36 , Tom Barnes

A council is preparing to deploy gritters in response to melting roads as temperatures soar.

Hampshire County Council said the machines will be spreading light dustings of sand.

This “acts like a sponge to soak up excess bitumen”, according to the authority.

Gritters are normally used to distribute salt during the winter to stop ice forming on roads.

The areas most likely to be targeted by the vehicles this week are those with older road surfaces, in rural locations and south facing.

Residents are being urged to report any road problems on the council’s website.

Motorists who find tar stuck to their tyres are advised to wash it off with warm soapy water.

An amber weather warning for extreme heat has been issued across much of the UK including Hampshire.

15:15 , Natalie Crockett

A “stray spark” caused the timber beams of a railway line to catch fire in London on Monday morning as the UK swelters.

The blaze, on a bridge in Battersea, south London, caused the suspension of services between Victoria and Brixton.

Network Rail has launched an investigation and also warned that the hot weather could cause tracks to “expand and sometimes buckle”.

Speed restrictions will be in place across some services as a result.

A ‘stray spark’ cause the fire near a railway track in London (Network Rail)
A ‘stray spark’ cause the fire near a railway track in London (Network Rail)

Joe Middleton has more on the story here: UK heatwave: Train tracks catch fire ‘from stray spark’ in 30C as services slowed to avoid buckling

14:40 , Natalie Crockett

An amber extreme heat warning has been issued for “exceptionally high” temperatures across large swathes of the UK ahead of the weekend.

The warning, which covers the east Midlands, east of England, London, south east, north east, north west, south west, wales, west Midlands and Yorkshire and Humber, is in place from midnight on Sunday to 11.59pm, when temperatures are predicted to soar into the 30s.

A statement from the Met Office said: “Population-wide adverse health effects are likely to be experienced, not limited to those most vulnerable to extreme heat, leading to potential serious illness or danger to life.

A look ahead

14:18 , Tom Barnes

The Met Office has given us a look ahead at what we can expect as the heatwave continues in parts of the UK this week.

The good news for those of you struggling is that temperatures will drop, slightly, as the week goes on, but we’re still expecting a prolonged period of warm weather:

In pictures: Britons lap up warm weather

13:55 , Tom Barnes

People across the UK are making the most of the warm weather this afternoon, if you’re stuck indoors, try not to feel too envious as you take a look at these photos.

Newquay, Cornwall


Westminster, London

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

Hoylake, Merseyside


Barry Island, Wales


Britons urged to ration water in heatwave

13:23 , Tom Barnes

People are being urged to ration water by having shorter showers and not watering gardens as temperatures are expected to soar to 33C.

The UK’s heatwave is predicted to send temperatures rising to 33C in parts of England on Monday, followed by the high 20s for most throughout the rest of the week until the mercury rises into the 30s again at the weekend.

Water companies are urging people not to waste water during the heatwave by avoiding washing cars, using sprinklers or taking long showers.

Suppliers have said higher demand and irresponsible use during hot weather spells could lead to people not having any water running through their taps.

Chiara Giordano has the full story here:

Britons urged to ration water in heatwave by taking four-minute showers

Too hot to work?

13:07 , Tom Barnes

Plenty of complaining on social media this afternoon that this scorching weather is too hot to work in.

But are you allowed to leave work if it gets to hot? We have the answer here for any of you planning on confronting your boss:

Can you legally leave work if it becomes too hot?

Heatwaves are getting worse - what role does climate change play?

12:43 , Tom Barnes

In the past 100 years, heatwaves have become hotter and more frequent across the world, according to the latest report from the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the global authority on climate science.

The IPCC is unequivocal about what’s causing this additional heat in the atmosphere: emissions created largely from humanity’s burning of fossil fuels.

Heatwaves are getting worse - what role does climate change play?

How can you tell if you’re dehydrated?

12:24 , Tom Barnes

As the UK swelters in a heatwave, knowing when you’re dehydrated can help save you from heat exhaustion, or even fatal illnesses like heatstroke.

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

How can you tell if you’re dehydrated?

It’s heating up

12:05 , Tom Barnes

This Met Office graphic shows how temperatures are expecting to rise across the UK today.

What’s the difference between heat exhaustion and heatstroke

11:38 , Tom Barnes

Given that a heath health alert has been issued, it’s important to make sure you’re looking after yourself and others today as the risk of conditions such as heatstroke will be far greater than on a normal summer’s day.

Here are the signs and symptoms you need to watch out for, examples of how it is different from heat exhaustion and some tips on avoiding heatstroke altogether.

What is the difference between heat exhaustion and heat stroke?

Level 3 heat health warning issued

11:13 , Tom Barnes

A Level Three Heat Health Alert has been issued by the Met Office and the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) from 9am on Monday to 9am on Friday in the east and south-east of England, with the rest of the nation having a level 2 alert in place.

The four-level system highlights the potential health impacts of these high temperatures.

Dr Agostinho Sousa, head of extreme events and health protection at UKHSA, said: “Heat-health alerts have now been issued to the majority of the country, with temperatures set to remain consistently high throughout the duration of next week.

“Most of us can enjoy the hot weather when it arrives, but it is important to keep yourself hydrated and to find shade where possible when UV rays are strongest, between 11am and 3pm.

“If you have vulnerable family, friends and neighbours, make sure they are aware of how they can keep themselves protected from the warm weather.”

Britain set for hottest day of the year

10:40 , Tom Barnes

Britons are set to sizzle on what could be the hottest day of the year so far, with temperatures predicted to possibly hit 33C.

The Met Office has said the mercury in central, southern and eastern England will soar on Monday afternoon amid a heatwave blasting the nation.

Parts of the country will be hotter than some of the world’s top beach destinations, including areas in Jamaica, the Maldives and the Bahamas, with the hot weather set to last until the weekend.

Britain could see hottest day of year with temperatures of 33C ‘very possible’

Latest Met Office forecast

10:19 , Tom Barnes

Here’s the latest forecast from the Met Office. Look away now if you (like I) aren’t too keen on all this heatwave business.

What is a heatwave?

09:59 , Tom Barnes

The term gets bandied about a lot, but the Met Office has a set of very specific conditions that must be met before a spell of warm weather can officially be called a heatwave.

And if the forecasts are to be believed, parts of the UK will indeed see a heatwave this week, as the country braces for an extended period of hot weather.

This handy guide explains exactly what a heatwave is.

Explained: What is a heatwave?


09:45 , Tom Barnes

Good morning, hope you’re all keeping cool. Welcome to the Independent’s weather blog for Monday, 11 July. We’re expecting today to be the hottest day of the year so far, so stay with us for the latest heatwave updates.

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