Heatwave: Warning issued to use water for ‘essential purpose’ as Brits brace for hot weath

Heatwave: Expert warns of 'unprecedented' hot period

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Temperatures are now expected to peak on Monday and Tuesday, with the national heat record of 38.7C could still be broken early next week, though the most extreme temperatures look less likely, the Met Office said. The unprecedented heat has caused a warning to be issued urging Brits to preserve water.

Annie Shuttleworth, a meteorologist at the Met Office, said: “Temperatures in the area warned for are likely to peak on Monday and Tuesday, when temperatures will reach the mid-30s in a few areas, especially more southern parts of that warning area, but widely within it will be in the low 30s.

“A few spots closer to the south east could see the high 30s. There’s still some uncertainty – the chance of 40C has not been ruled out at this stage but it is a more unlikely scenario.”

Kent has been moved to “red” status for water demand by South East Water, which said it was struggling to keep up with water usage rates as customers filled paddling pools and used hosepipes in their gardens.

The company said: “We need our customers in Kent to use water for essential use only, so we’re able to replenish supplies in your local area to keep up with localised demand.”

It said it was seeing “record” usage levels as customers filled “giant paddling pools” – which can hold thousands of litres of water – to cool down in the heat.

South East Water supplies 2.2 million people across Hampshire, Berkshire, Surrey, Sussex and Kent.

Water shortages may only arise if the summer continues to be dry, or it may be an issue for next year if we also have a dry winter, he explained.

Meanwhile, a burst main on the Isle of Sheppey left some people with low pressure or no water supply on Tuesday morning.

Southern Water apologised to customers and said it was organising collection points for bottled water.

Heat health alerts are now at Level 3 for the whole of England, with the Met Office warning of “widespread societal impacts”.

Much of the UK is also likely to experience “tropical nights” between Sunday and Tuesday, with temperatures not falling below 20C for a full 24 hour period, something that poses a significant risk to health, the forecaster said.

Temperatures are then expected to decline from the middle of next week.

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A spokesman for the Cabinet Office said: “We are working across Government to assess and mitigate the impact of the heatwave.

“The UK Health Security Agency has issued health alerts across the majority of the country, including specific guidance for schools and hospitals.

“As we are expecting consistently high temperatures throughout the duration of next week, we would urge everyone to take precautions to ensure they are able to stay cool.”

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