Trains across the country have been cancelled or put on go-slow orders, schools and medical facilities have closed and people are being told to consider staying at home in the heatwave “crisis” for which the Government has issued a “red severe weather warning”, but which most of us just call summer. Here’s the Telegraph.
Blanket speed restrictions will be imposed on all railway lines, with both the train operators and Highways England warning people not to travel.
The Met Office said that “in general” it would be safer for people to stay indoors if possible.
Some GP surgeries and operating theatres have already closed as hospital bosses warned that the extreme weather made it hard to keep services running. Job centres in areas covered by the red severe weather warning will also be shut.
Schools in several counties, including Nottinghamshire and Hampshire, confirmed that they would close for two days following the health alerts. Others have reduced hours amid Met Office warnings that temperatures will soar to highs of 38C and 40C in some areas.
The UK’s first red extreme heat warning covers a large swathe of England from London to Manchester and York for both Monday and Tuesday and the UK Health Security Agency issued a heat health warning at level four, which is described as a “national emergency”.
Tracy Nicholls, the chief executive of the College of Paramedics, warned that the “ferocious heat” could kill people.
But Dominic Raab, the deputy prime minister, said the country should be resilient enough to withstand the pressures brought by the heat and urged people to “enjoy the sunshine” as long as they take “common sense” precautions.
David Davis, a senior Tory backbencher, said: “Obviously, if you’re at risk, if you’re a young child or elderly or you have some other condition, take care and obviously use hats and sunscreen and use the shade. But people exist in Mediterranean climes and handle it. So, if we use common sense we can do the same.”
Another senior Tory MP said he thought the public health messaging was “grossly inflated and scaremongering of the worst kind”.
I note that the forecast already seems to have been lowered to 38°C.
At the Daily Sceptic we want to put the forecasts to the test and invite any readers who have an outdoor thermometer (in the shade) to send in the temperature readings throughout the afternoon (and then again tomorrow). You can either put them in the comments below or email us here. If you know what the forecast was for your area then mention that as well so it’ll be easy to compare. Don’t forget to include your location. If you don’t have a thermometer you could use the current reading (not the forecast) from your phone weather app (mine currently, at 2:30pm in Warwickshire, says 37°C; the forecast yesterday was 39°C), though if it’s from an app rather than a thermometer do mention that.
We’ll see how close it really gets across the country to the 40-plus degrees predicted.
Stop Press: Plenty of replies to the post promoting this article on Twitter. Check them out.
Some replies by email:
- “BBC forecast was for a max of 40C, actual max Barbican City of London 33C.”
- “Rickmansworth. Met Office forecast 36. BBC Forecast 37. Actual Max outside my house (sensor connected to central heating system) 32.9 and cooling down a bit now.”
- “Colchester 17:00. Outside temperature in the shade 35C Forecast from the xc weather site was max 37C.”
- “The following temperature measurements were taken outside in the shade in Welburn, York this afternoon. The Met office forecast for the same location and time are in brackets: 14:00 28.8C (31C); 15:00 28.5C (32C); 16:00 29.1C (33C); 17:00 29.5C (34C).”
- “BBC predicted 34°c at 4pm, and 35°c at 5pm. Actual temperature taken in our garden in the shade at 4.10pm was 30.1°C”
- “Outside to the NE of the house it was 33.5°C in the shade at 16.30 h. The Met. Office forecast for Shobdon (5 km away) at 17.00 h was 35°C.”
- “Bolton Greater Manchester outside thermometer appears to have peaked out at 30.5C. Daily Mail prediction for Manchester 34C!”
- “Peaked at 31C at approximately 3:30pm on shaded north side of brick built house. Rural location, Dorset.”
- “Daventry, at one point 40 was forecast, downgraded to 38 this morning, now downgraded again to 36 and [at 5pm] we are still below on 34.”
- “Lavenham Suffolk. 5pm 33 deg Celsius on outdoor thermometer. Current max temp is 33. In the shade.”
- “Right now [at 4:30pm], weather.com says it’s about 33° down the road from the mothballed Plymouth Airport. I’ve checked the temperature with my thermometer and it’s about right.”
- “St Ives, Cambs: shade thermometer at 16.00 hrs is 34.5C. BBC weather site says 37C. Funny, because normally the BBC and my thermometer are within 1°C.”
- “16:00 temperature in Stroud = 36.2 degrees Celsius. In the shade. Outside.”
- “Rainhill, Merseyside, in the shade. Forecast 34 celsius at 3pm. Actual 30 degrees at 3pm.”
- “Owslebury, Hampshire, 29 degrees on my wall thermometer [at 3pm]. Met Office prediction was 31.”
- “Portsmouth via weather app on iPhone [at 3pm] 28 Deg.”
- “14:50. Back garden, Tidworth, Wiltshire: 34 Degrees measured with thermistor linked to multi-meter.”
- “38C at 1450 on our max/min thermometer at rural Watford Gap, Northants. Device is in the shade, north/east facing.”
- “St Ives, Cambs: shade thermometer at 14.25 hrs was 33C. Forecast/BBC weather tells me we are 35C heading for 37-38C”
- “14.25 BST in Temple Cowley, Oxford: North facing location outside, away from buildings and concrete, in the shade: 32 degrees Celsius.”
- “31 degrees here in Gittisham, East Devon [at 2pm].”
- “My favourite weathercam site with a sophisticated weather station has 28C recorded against Met Office’s 33C at 1400.”
- “Outside air temp at 2pm was 27C near Cockermouth, Cumbria. Met Office app gives me 28C, BBC Weather says 27C.”
- “It’s 30 degrees (via car thermometer) in Bradford / Leeds [at 12:45]. Forecast was for low 30s so not too far off.”
- “The temperature in central Paris at 14:10 is 31C (in the shade). They told us it would be 40 today… still a few hours left, I suppose.”