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Drought declared as Extreme Heat Warning activates in England

Many parts of the UK are experiencing sweltering temperatures with an amber extreme heat warning coming into force today until Tuesday 16 August. 🌡

Heat Map issued by the Met Office

🔥It has also issued its highest alert for fire severity over the weekend, warning there is an “exceptional” risk of blazes spreading in many places. Fires and disposable barbecues in open spaces are banned. Many supermarkets have halted the sale of them due to the risk of wildfires.

The affected areas are:

• Devon and Cornwall
• Solent and South Downs
• Kent and South London
• Herts and North London
• East Anglia
• Thames
• Lincolnshire and Northamptonshire
• East Midlands

While the drought status does not trigger actions itself, it does mean the Environment Agency and water companies can implement pre-agreed plans.

Everyone in the affected areas are urged to be “very mindful” amd told they should use this preciuos water wisely.

“We are currently experiencing a second heatwave after what was the driest July on record for parts of the country,” Water Minister Steve Double said. “We are better prepared than ever before for periods of dry weather, but we will continue to closely monitor the situation, including impacts on farmers and the environment, and take further action as needed.”

Thanks to the influence of high pressure stuck over the UK the heat will continue to rise through the rest of week, peaking over the weekend.

By Friday afternoon, temperatures are set to soar as high as 35C (95F) in southern areas of the England, being hotter than the Bahamas, Jamaica and Barbados.

Met Office Chief Meteorologist Andy Page said: “Temperatures will drop early next week as the weather becomes more changeable. Heavy showers and thunderstorms are likely in some areas, but there is low confidence in the details at this time and it is impossible to say yet exactly where and when they will occur”.

There are many simple things you can do to keep yourself safe in the heat:

👉Drink plenty of fluids and take water with you

👉Wear sunscreen and a wide brimmed hat

👉Avoid exercising between 11am-3pm when the sun is at it’s strongest

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