British Queen celebrates

New data from the Met Office suggests that Saturday marked the hottest day of the year in the UK, with provisional figures indicating a temperature of 32.7°C (91°F) recorded at Heathrow

Airport. This marked the sixth consecutive day of temperatures surpassing 30 degrees.

Previously, Thursday held the record as the warmest day of 2023, with a temperature of 32.6°C (90.7°F) registered in Wisley, Surrey. However, this soaring heat may be on the decline in some parts of England and Wales, as a weather warning for potential thunderstorms has been issued.

A yellow Met Office weather warning for thunderstorms has been issued for Sunday, covering most of Northern Ireland, parts of northern England and Wales, as well as sections of southern Scotland. The warning is effective from 14:00 BST to 23:59.

Concurrently, NHS England has released figures indicating a fivefold increase in the number of people seeking advice about heat exhaustion over the past week.

This ongoing heatwave has led to the longest consecutive stretch of 30°C (86°F) September days ever recorded.

BBC Weather presenter Sarah Keith-Lucas anticipates another very hot day on Sunday, especially in the southern regions, where temperatures could reach 32°C. Cooler conditions are expected in the north, along with the possibility of more widespread showers and thunderstorms later in the day, although southern and eastern areas are predicted to remain dry.

As the new week begins, cooler air will extend across the entire UK, with intermittent showers in the forecast.

Concurrently, the UK Health Security Agency has issued an amber heat-health warning, which remains in effect for nearly all areas of England until 21:00 on Sunday. This warning implies that the health service could experience impacts across the board due to high temperatures.

Prolonged exposure to temperatures above 30°C poses a risk, particularly to older individuals and those with respiratory or cardiovascular conditions.

The rising temperatures have triggered a 552% surge in visits to the NHS website seeking advice on heat exhaustion. This week alone saw 32,130 visits to the heat exhaustion and heatstroke advice page, compared to 4,928 visits during the same period last week.

Climate scientists point out that human-induced climate change has led to more frequent, intense, and prolonged heatwaves. Last year, the UK recorded temperatures exceeding 40°C for the first time, an event deemed nearly impossible without the influence of climate change.

The global temperature has already risen by an average of 1.1°C since the onset of the industrial era, and further temperature increases are inevitable unless governments worldwide take substantial steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Photo by Anthony Eden, Wikimedia commons.