Sun lovers in the Portsmouth area have been warned to beware the perils of the hottest day of the year so far.
Temperatures in and around the city are expected to soar to 32 degrees Centigrade (almost 90 degrees Farenheit) this afternoon.
But the heatwave across Britain has prompted warnings from health authorities urging the public to take care in the potentially “dangerous” heatwave conditions. The continued hot spell shows no sign of ending as temperatures are set to remain in the mid to high 20s well into next week.
A warning issued by the Met Office has been escalated to a level three alert for Yorkshire and the Humber after temperatures have already reached heatwave conditions.
Level two alerts are in place across most of England preparing the public for the possibility of heatwave conditions, which it says can have a significant impact on health.
“Heatwaves can be dangerous, especially for the very young, very old or those with chronic diseases,” the alert said.
A spokesman for Public Health England (PHE) said: “Level two alerts are triggered as soon as the Met Office forecasts that there is a 60% chance of temperatures being high enough on at least two consecutive days to have a significant effect on health.
“This will normally happen two to three days before a heatwave is expected to occur. As most deaths occur in the first two days, this is an important stage at which to ensure readiness and swift action to reduce harm from a potential heatwave.”
Dr Angie Bone, head of the PHE’s Heatwave Plan, said: “Everyone can enjoy the sun safely by keeping out of the heat at the hottest time of the day, avoiding sunburn and staying hydrated with plenty of cool drinks.
“The elderly and those with long-term illnesses are particularly vulnerable to the effects of very hot weather, so it’s important to look out for them and keep indoor areas as cool as possible.”
Gareth Harvey, a forecaster with MeteoGroup, the weather division of the Press Association, said the top temperature of the day will probably be recorded west of London.
“It’s been a very hot spell of weather and today will be the hottest day so far.
“It’s likely to hit 32C in the south-east, and be up to 31C across the rest of England and Wales.
“The hottest part of the day will probably be around 3pm to 4pm.
“There heat will bring a chance of brief thunderstorms in the east of England but only a few areas will see showers.
“The temperature will drop slightly on Sunday but remain hot and dry.”
The North of the UK has seen the best temperatures over the last few days, with the highest recording of 29.2 degrees in Branham, Yorkshire on Friday.
The hottest temperature of the years so far was 29.9C (85.8F) in Edenfel, County Tyrone in Northern Ireland on Monday.
However temperatures will be markedly cooler in Northern Ireland and Scotland over the next few days, settling around 20C (68F).
The heat could lead to a few local thunderstorms in the east of the country.
The RAC said more than 11 million motorists were planning to hit the road this weekend.
Popular spots include the Lake District, Devon and Cornwall, the south coast of England, and Yorkshire.
The RAC added that it was boosting the number of its patrol teams following a sharp rise last weekend in hot weather-related breakdowns.