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Temperatures set to reach 31C with UK facing hottest day of the year

Temperatures are forecast to hit scorching 31C peaks in parts of the UK, making it likely to be the hottest day of the year so far.

Despite Tuesday’s temperatures having been 2024’s highest so far, peaking at 30C (86F) in Chertsey, Surrey, today’s mercury is set to soar beyond yesterday’s heights.

The Met Office has said the warm weather could be a heatwave, defined as a three-day period where temperatures go above a set threshold – which varies between regions.

The hot spell marks a break from the rainy spring, which saw 32 per cent more rain than average in England and Wales, making it the fifth wettest for England and the eighth wettest for Wales, said the Met Office.

Just before the weekend, conditions are expected to cool slightly, but it will remain warm.

Andrea Bishop, a Met Office spokeswoman, said it will continue to be “very warm” over the next few days, though conditions in the west and the South West will be “nearer average temperatures”.

“Wednesday is a very warm day for many and we’re going to have top temperatures of 31C,” she said.

“We then transition to fresher conditions looking very likely through Thursday as a weakening band of cloud and showery rain runs east, south-east, across the country through the day.

“Although it could still be very warm ahead of this, for example in the east or south east of England.”

LONDRA, UNITED KINGDOM - JUNE 25: People walk with umbrellas on a sunny day as a yellow alert is issued by the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) due to increasing temperatures in London, United Kingdom on June 25, 2024. The UK Meteorological Office (Met Office) reported that temperatures could continue to rise and reach 31C in some spots. (Photo by Rasid Necati Aslim/Anadolu via Getty Images)
People walk with umbrellas in London as a yellow alert is issued by the UK Health Security Agency (Photo: Rasid Necati Aslim/Anadolu via Getty Images)

As many Britons have enjoyed soaking up the sun during the hot spell, the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) has warned of “significant impacts” in the health and social care sector, issuing a yellow alert for most of England until 5pm on Thursday.

Until then, there will be an increased chance of mortality for over-65s and people with health conditions, according to the health agency.

Heat exhaustion, heatstroke and dehydration are the main risks posed by heatwaves and hot weather.

Meanwhile, NHS leaders have said the service is expecting “major disruption” as a result of the hot weather coinciding with a junior doctors’ strike.

The five-day dispute, starting on Wednesday, represents an eleventh walkout by junior doctors from the British Medical Association (BMA) in England, as a bitter dispute over pay rumbles on.

NHS bosses have said the warmer temperatures have already put strain on the service while concerns around a cyber attack at major London hospitals remain, with Guys’ and St Thomas’ and King’s still running at reduced capacity after the incident earlier this month.

Asked about the impact of the doctors’ strike and the weather, BMA chairman Professor Philip Banfield said “more experienced doctors” would help cover for junior doctors, adding: “You’ve got our SAS colleagues, consultants, so it is a more senior workforce in place, those gaps are not quite what you would expect.”

“People should continue to use 999 in life-threatening emergencies and NHS 111 – on the NHS app, online, or by phone – for other health concerns,” he added.

The forecast came as good news, though, to the thousands of revellers attending this year’s Glastonbury Festival as organiser Emily Eavis unbolted the green gates to Worthy Farm.

Festival-goers can expect “mostly warm, dry and settled” weather for the next five days but scattered showers could begin from day one and last until the end of the weekend, according to the Met Office.

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