July has got off to a sizzling start, with the mercury already starting to heat up this week, potentially creating the country’s first heatwave of the year. Today, July 11, parts of the south east are set to reach highs of 31C, but this sweltering temperature appears to be just the start. By next Monday, July 18 interactive weather map WX Charts shows most of the country will be baking in temperatures of 36C. The entire country is blanketed under a burgundy red colour, which is a rare indicator.
This shows how high pressure will dominate for much of the week with the opportunity for records to be broken.
The record temperature for the month of July currently stands at 38.7C recorded in 2019.
It says: “High pressure continues to dominate the UK over the coming days, prolonging the warm spell for many.
“Heatwave criteria will be met in some areas in southern and central England and Wales.”
But parts of the northwest will be cooler, the Met Office adds, with cloudy periods and patchy rain bringing the mercury down.
David Oliver, Met Office deputy chief meteorologist, said: “The warm weather over much of England and Wales could last for much of next week.
“In the short term, many can expect temperatures in the mid to high 20s Celsius over the weekend, and then in the low 30s Celsius during the start of next week.
“Much of next week will remain warm for the time of year as well as dry and sunny for many areas.”
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But by early next week, highs of 36C are not set to be confined to the south east, in fact, even parts of the north could see highs of 35C.
The hottest temperatures appear to centre around Kent, Sussex and central London.
The spell of blistering heat has prompted a reminder for people to check in on the vulnerable, and to take extra precautions to avoid homes overheating.
Dr Agostinho Sousa, head of Extreme Events and Health Protection at UKHSA, said: “We want everyone to enjoy the hot weather when it arrives, but also to check in on their vulnerable family, friends and neighbours to make sure they are prepared for the warm conditions ahead. High temperatures are predicted for a prolonged period, so make sure to follow our simple health advice to beat the heat, such as covering windows exposed to direct sunlight and making sure that fridges, freezers and fans are working properly.”
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With more people expected to head for the coast, the RNLI has also urged sunseekers to be careful when taking a paddle in the sea.
Sam Hughes, national water safety partner at the RNLI, said: “It is great to hear that the sun is on its way but we want to remind everyone to stay safe at the coast.
“If you are planning on going to the beach we would encourage you to visit a lifeguarded beach and swim between the red and yellow flags.
“If you get into trouble in the water, Float to Live: lean back, use your arms and legs to stay afloat. Control your breathing, then call for help or swim to safety. In a coastal emergency, call 999 or 112 for the Coastguard.”