The Met Office has issued a yellow health warning for heatwave conditions from Tuesday until Thursday evening. The warning means there is an 80% chance of temperatures which could be a risk to health and is intended to help social and healthcare teams prepare. Fears that railway tracks could buckle in the heat prompted Network Rail to introduce speed restrictions, which could cause some delays on the trains, make sure to check before travelling. Network Rail said track temperatures could reach as much as 20C above the air temperature, meaning the steel rails can expand markedly. The reduced speeds are intended to lower the force exerted on the track, reducing the risk of buckling.
The hot weather is expected to last until the weekend when temperatures will slowly drop off. The Met Office has said heatwaves can be dangerous for the very young, the elderly or those with chronic disease. It is important to make sure that you are well hydrated and have access to cool areas or shade if you’re outside, regardless of your age or health as dehydration and conditions such as heat stroke can affect anyone if they have been exposed to heat for long periods of time.
Hayfever sufferers will also be impacted as the Met Office has forecasted very high levels of pollen across England, Wales and Northern Ireland throughout the week. Make sure to check our guide to helping with hayfever symptoms in our last issue.
In light of the hot weather, police have urged people to be careful of the temptation to swim in open water in the hot weather. The warning came after the body of a man was recovered from a lake in Nutfield, Surrey, on Monday. A search was also reported for a missing child at Westport Lake in Stoke-on-Trent, the search was resumed on Tuesday morning after emergency services were called on Monday to reports that three children were in distress in the water. Two of the children are safe and well, Staffordshire Police said.
If you are someone that regularly works outside, make sure to keep an eye on temperatures, the Trade Unions Congress (TUC) has urged bosses to ensure staff working outdoors are protected from the hot weather. TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said: “We all love to see the sunshine, but working outdoors in sweltering conditions can be unbearable and dangerous. Bosses must ensure their staff are protected with regular breaks, lots of fluids, plenty of sunscreen and the right protective clothing.”
During this period of hot weather, it is also important to make sure that pets are hydrated and given somewhere cool to escape the sun if need be, guidance given by animal groups have said that if tarmac is too hot to put your hand on, then it is too hot for dogs to walk on. For more information and advice on how to keep safe during the hot weather, check the met office’s website.