Amber heatwave warning issued as parts of region go 44 days without rain

PUBLISHED: 14:29 23 July 2018 | UPDATED: 17:04 23 July 2018

A thermometer reaching 30 degrees Celsius in Hoveton, Norfolk.

A thermometer reaching 30 degrees Celsius in Hoveton, Norfolk. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Archant Norfolk 2018

People are being warned to stay out of the midday sun as the Met Office has issued an amber heatwave warning covering the region.

People enjoying the sunshine on Sea Palling beach. Picture : Antony KellyPeople enjoying the sunshine on Sea Palling beach. Picture : Antony Kelly

But forecasters have said rain could finally arrive by the weekend after a month and a half of drought.

The amber, or level three, warning is issued when temperatures are predicted to hit 30C (86F) during the day, and 15C (59F) at night, for at least two consecutive days, a Met Office spokeswoman said.

People are urged to either stay out of the sun or at least avoid being in the sun when it is at its strongest between 11am and 3pm.

There is a 90pc possibility of heatwave conditions between 9am on Monday and 9am Friday in parts of England, mainly in the south and east, the Met Office said.

Phil Garner, of Norwich-based forecasters Weatherquest said temperatures will remain steady until at least Friday.

“Things are looking very settled until we get through to the weekend, with dry, hot weather continuing through until Friday night,” he said.

“We may be looking at showers coming in from the west on Saturday, and thereafter getting through to Sunday and Monday the hot weather will be coming back again.

“Temperatures will be even higher than the last two days, reaching highs of 31-32C, with overnight temperatures not lower than 15C.

“Some stations in the region are now going 44 days since we had rain.”

The heat health watch warning is designed to make local services aware that these conditions are being met, and for them to take action.

Nearly all parts of the UK are seeing above average temperatures, but it will be hot or very hot towards the east or south east.

During the current heatwave, UK temperatures have been approximately 10C higher than average for this time of year.

“We advise the public to take care in the sun, especially when temperatures are potentially reaching 30 degrees or more throughout this week, either stay out of the sun or be sensible and don’t go out in the strongest sunshine hours (11am to 3pm),” the Met Office spokeswoman said.

Members of the public were also urged to take the usual precautions in the sun, including covering up, wearing sun screen and drinking plenty of water.

Norfolk County Council’s Public Health team are offering advice and guidance for the elderly and vulnerable on how to stay safe in the hot weather following the Level Three Hot Weather alert for the East of England announced by the Met Office this morning.

Stay out of the heat:

• keep out of the sun between 11am and 3pm

• if you have to go out in the heat, walk in the shade, apply sunscreen and wear a hat

• avoid extreme physical exertion

• wear light, loose-fitting cotton clothes

Cool yourself down:

• have plenty of cold drinks, and avoid excess alcohol, caffeine and hot drinks

• eat cold foods, particularly salads and fruit with a high water content

• take a cool shower, bath or body wash

• sprinkle water over the skin or clothing, or keep a damp cloth on the back of your neck

Keep your environment cool:

• keeping your living space cool is especially important for infants, the elderly or those with chronic health conditions or who can’t look after themselves

• place a thermometer in your main living room and bedroom to keep a check on the temperature

• keep windows that are exposed to the sun closed during the day, and open windows at night when the temperature has dropped

• close curtains that receive morning or afternoon sun, however, care should be taken with metal blinds and dark curtains, as these can absorb heat – consider replacing or putting reflective material in-between them and the window space

• turn off non-essential lights and electrical equipment – they generate heat

• keep indoor plants and bowls of water in the house as evaporation helps cool the air

• if possible, move into a cooler room, especially for sleeping

• electric fans may provide some relief, if temperatures are below 35°C consider putting up external shading outside windows

• grow trees and leafy plants near windows to act as natural air-conditioners

Look out for others:

• keep an eye on isolated, elderly, ill or very young people and make sure they are able to keep cool

• ensure that babies, children or elderly people are not left alone in stationary cars

• check on elderly or sick neighbours, family or friends every day during a heatwave

• be alert and call a doctor or social services if someone is unwell or further help is needed

If you have a health problem:

• keep medicines below 25C or in the refrigerator (read the storage instructions on the packaging)

• seek medical advice if you are suffering from a chronic medical condition or taking multiple medications

If you or others feel unwell:

• try to get help if you feel dizzy, weak, anxious or have intense thirst and headache; move to a cool place as soon as possible and measure your body temperature

• drink some water or fruit juice to rehydrate

• rest immediately in a cool place if you have painful muscular spasms (particularly in the legs, arms or abdomen, in many cases after sustained exercise during very hot weather), and drink oral rehydration solutions containing electrolytes.

• medical attention is needed if heat cramps last more than one hour

• consult your doctor if you feel unusual symptoms or if symptoms persist

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