A 48 hour long heatwave is expected to hit the UK - here’s when

Temperatures are set to soar (Photo: TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images)Temperatures are set to soar (Photo: TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images)
Temperatures are set to soar (Photo: TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images)

As we move towards autumn, we would expect temperatures to begin to drop, not to rise.

However, as warm winds from Spain and France make their way towards the UK, it appears that a heatwave is scheduled to bring higher temperatures as summer comes to an end

This is everything you need to know.

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When will the heatwave hit?

BBC meteorologist Tomasz Shafernaker said, “We’re going to see a current of warm air coming out of Spain and France engulfing much of the country.”

This warm air will bring lots of sunshine across England and Wales from Monday (14 September) morning, with Scotland “drying out” after rain.

Tuesday is expected to be the hottest day in the south and south east of England, with a chance the temperatures could reach as high as 31C.

John Griffiths, from the Met Office, said, “Across Scotland it will actually be a warmer day for many on Tuesday.

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“There’s going to be the potential for a few showers around in some western areas and one of the two fo them could be heavy and the odd rumble of thunder but they’re going to be isolated where they do occur.”

Things will begin to cool down on Wednesday as the winds change direction, with Scotland the north east of England dropping down to temperatures of around 17C.

Griffiths said that there could still be highs of 27C or 28C again on Wednesday, but as we move throughout the rest of the week, the heat will drop to the low 20C in the warmest parts.

Griffiths said that it’s not unusual for this kind of heat to occur at this time of year, saying that the UK “often gets warm spelling of weather in September”, but that these temperatures will be way off the highest temperature recorded in September, which was 35.6C on 2 September 1906.

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What is a heatwave?

The Met Office defines a heatwave as “when a location records a period of at least three consecutive days with daily maximum temperatures meeting or exceeding the heatwave temperature threshold.”

The heatwave threshold varies in the UK by country, to reflect the differences in climate across the UK.

In parts of Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales and north and south west of England, the threshold is 25C.

From Lincolnshire, Cheshire and down to Dorset, the threshold rises to 26C.

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For parts of the Midlands, East Anglia and many of the home counties, the threshold temperature is 27C, with it rising again to 28C in London.

How to stay cool in a heatwave

While many of us will be rejoicing at the thought of warmer weather, there are health risks that come with the heat.

The main risks posed by heat waves are:

  • Dehydrating (not drinking enough water)
  • Overheating, which can make symptoms worse for people who already have problems with their heart, or breathing
  • Heat exhaustion and heatstroke

The NHS recommends the following tips for coping in hot weather:

  • Drink plenty of fluids and avoid excess alcohol
  • Keep out of the sun between 11am to 3pm, instead sticking to the shade
  • Avoid exercising in the hottest parts of the day
  • Close the curtains on rooms that face the sun to keep indoor spaces cooler

You should also follow all current social distancing guidelines and continue to wash your hands frequently.