A yellow heat-health alert has been upgraded to amber as forecasters anticipate the hottest day of the year so far.
The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) escalated yesterday’s yellow alert to amber as the Met Office predicted temperatures would rise to 31C (88F) on Saturday.
Forecaster Aiden McGivern said 31C could be possible “somewhere between London, up towards Cambridgeshire, into the Midlands and out towards North West England”, in what would “certainly be the hottest day of the year so far”.
The amber alert will cover the West Midlands, East Midlands, East of England, South East and South West, with parts of the nation set to be hotter than tourist destinations Ibiza, Tenerife and the Spanish town of Marbella.
The amber alert indicates that the weather could affect the wider population, not just those who are vulnerable – impacting the NHS.
In a statement, the UKHSA said: “The decision to move to an amber alert has been made due to latest Met Office forecasts, which indicate there is a high likelihood that forecasted temperatures will be reached rapidly over the weekend in these regions, while we are also likely to see high overnight temperatures.”
A yellow alert has now also been issued in the North East, North West and Yorkshire and Humber, while London will remain at the same level.
The alerts are in place from 9am on Friday until 9am on Monday, 12 June.
However, some coastal areas in the East of England and North East are set to be much cooler, with 17C expected in Newcastle and 19C in Middlesborough.
A “chilly north sea breeze” will see temperatures plunge to 13C on parts of the Aberdeenshire coast in eastern Scotland – but there will be some “notable warm spots”, with 28C predicted in the southwest of the country.
Thunderstorms on the way
A big jump in temperatures and increased humidity will trigger “lively downpours”, especially for parts of southern England, into the Midlands and Wales.
A yellow alert was also issued by the Met Office on Thursday for thunderstorms covering Wales, south and western England, from 2pm until 9pm on Saturday.
Mr McGivern said the thundery showers could be “hit and miss” – but affected areas could be deluged by more than 30-40mm of rain in a few hours, together with “hail, gusty winds and frequent lightning.”