Amber warning: Britons are being advised to stay out of the sunshine washing over from Spain
Sun rays beating down on Britain this week are being accompanied with a serious health warning as the nation is set to bask in temperatures of up to 101F (38C).
Met Office officials are urging the public to avoid the sunshine – and cover up windows at home – as health services are expecting a surge in sun stroke patients.
An amber alert has been issued, meaning heatwave temperatures have officially been reached, but experts say it is set to get even hotter.
This week, the ‘Mediterranean melt’ – a blast of hot air from Spain – will keep temperatures above 80F all the way up until Friday, with temperatures set to peak on Thursday, making the UK hotter than Jamaica.
Met Office forecasters are confident that Brits will be treated to 95F (35C) heat, with bookmakers cutting the odds to 2/1 that the country will experience the hottest day ever, beating the 101F (38.5C) record from 2003.
Britain is now on a Level Three warning from the Met Office – one step below Level Four – at which point is is expected fit and healthy people will begin to experience health issues.
While the sun is at its hottest, the public should avoid it, the Met Office warned.
‘We advise the public to take care in the sun, especially when temperatures are potentially reaching 30 degrees or more throughout this week – either stay out of the sun or be sensible and don’t go out in the strongest sunshine hours (11am to 3pm)’, a spokeswoman said.
Already, frustrated social media users have said they are ‘praying for rain’ after sleepless nights, yellow grass and being stuck without air-conditioning.
Beaches were bursting on the first weekend of the school summer break, with a million visitors in Cornwall, 375,000 at Brighton across Saturday and Sunday, 250,000 in Blackpool, 200,000 in Bournemouth and 200,000 in Great Yarmouth.
Temperatures across Europe and North Africa have soared as the heatwave refuses to release its stranglehold
This week Britain is being warned to stay out of the sun as the temperatures verge on creating a ‘national emergency’
Twitter users said it was too hot on the Underground as London’s transport network seemed hotter under the city than it did at street level
Commuters took to social media to warn the Central Line is baking underground during Britain’s summer heatwave
Listen to health warnings, commuters have urged, as those using the underground networks in London this morning spoke of the unbearable heat
The pulse of scorching air dubbed the ‘Mediterranean melt’ is shown covering Britain by Friday as the school holidays are at to be hotter than Jamaica by Thursday
Katarzyna Palik, 27, soaks up the sunshine as the sizzling weather reaches highs of 86F on Bournemouth beach this weekend
Monika Wojtanowska, aged 29, (left) and Aneta, 26, cool off in the sea as the sizzling weather continues on Bournemouth beach on Sunday
Monday morning was already hot as people made their way to work – many of whom struggled to sleep the previous evening. The weather on Primrose Hill, London, was being enjoyed early on
Early on Monday Londoners were already shedding clothes on Primrose Hill as the day started off extremely hot
Early on Monday morning people were enjoying the warm weather in Queen’s Park, London. Temperatures could hit 101F this week – that’s 36C
Britain will bask in yet another spell of scorching weather next week with bookies slashing the odds of the UK enjoying the hottest day on record (pictured Sunday: the dry grass on Wimbledon Common)
Holidaymakers were caught risking their lives to take photos on the top of crumbling cliffs made famous by TVs Broadchurch
A group of friends goes for a paddle on the lake in Hyde Park, with temperatures today much cooler than they are likely to be for the coming week
A jogger runs on the burnt dry grass on Wimbledon Common (left), while a sunworshipper enjoys an ice cream in Hyde Park
Beaches were bursting yest again Sunday, with a million visitors over the weekend in Cornwall, 375,000 at Brighton across Saturday and Sunday, 250,000 in Blackpool, 200,000 in Bournemouth (pictured) and 200,000 in Great Yarmouth
The Met Office said today’s 30C (pictured is a couple in Hyde Park) would be followed by 32C on Monday and Tuesday, 34C on Wednesday and 35C possible on Thursday and Friday
A blast of hot air from Spain dubbed the ‘Mediterranean melt’ will force temperatures above the 86F (30C) mark all the way up until Friday, with temperatures set to peak on Thursday, making the UK hotter than Jamaica
Rollerbladers enjoy the sunny weather in Hyde Park this afternoon, with temperatures set to increase day on day until Friday
But swimmers are being warned to wear wetsuits if they want to take a dip, to avoid being stung by swarms of giant jellyfish that have been spotted off the coast of Folkestone, in Kent.
Chris Lightwing, the logistics manager at Folkestone Rescue, a charity which helps to keep beaches safe, said that the jellyfish, which have a 1ft diameter and 24 tentacles and can weight up to 2.5kg, could ‘give a nasty sting’ to people enjoying the unprecedented heatwave.
Millions of daytrippers took to clogged roads, with traffic jams due on coastal routes including the A23 to Brighton, A31 to Dorset, A30 to Cornwall and M55 to Blackpool.
The Met Office said today’s 30C would be followed by 32C on Monday and Tuesday, 34C on Wednesday and 35C possible on Thursday and Friday.
‘Off the-scale’ highs verging on July’s 36.7C temperature record, set on July 1, 2015, at Heathrow, were forecast by The Weather Outlook.
The high temperatures are ideal for a swim in the sea but some people in Folkestone, Hythe, and Dover say they have been left in agony after being stung.
Richard Greaves, 34, of Ashford, Kent, said he was stung after going for dip at Sunny Sands Beach in Folkestone last week.
He said: ‘I was swimming about 40ft out and was suddenly surrounded by loads of jellyfish – they looked huge.
‘I was stupid and tried to dive under them and ended up getting stung across my back and legs by their tentacles.’
He said he was helped out of the sea by onlookers, adding: ‘I was in agony for an hour or two, but eventually the pain subsided.’
Bookmakers Coral cut odds to 2/1 on temperatures beating Britain’s hottest temperature ever recorded, the 38.5C (101.3F) on August 10, 2003, at at Brogdale, near Faversham, Kent.
Britain will break its 33.0C hottest day of the year, set on June 28 at Porthmadog, west Wales, and be hotter than Montego Bay, Jamaica, and Acapulco, Mexico.
The new hot spell is due to last for two weeks, with more heat next week after a slight temporary easing on Saturday and Sunday.
Met Office forecaster Simon Partridge said: ‘It’s getting warmer and we could see 35C by Thursday.
‘After 30C on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday look like 32C, with 34C possible on Wednesday and a good chance of over 34.5C by Thursday, and Friday similar.
‘Heat will arrive from the south, passing over the continent. It will be hottest in the South and East.’
Chris Lightwing, the logistics manager at Folkestone Rescue, has given some handy advice for sun-seekers if they are stung by a jellyfish.
He said: ‘There has been a recent increase in the number of jellyfish around Folkestone’s coast. Jellyfish can give a nasty sting, and should be avoided. Never attempt to pick up or handle jellyfish.
‘We have had reports of numerous members of the public being stung over the last two weeks.
‘When entering the water, please consider wearing protective clothing and footwear such as a full-length wetsuit and boots.
‘If you have been stung by a jellyfish, you should leave the water immediately and keep still.
‘Any remaining tentacles should be removed with tweezers whilst wearing gloves. Taking painkillers such as paracetamol and ibuprofen will help to lessen any pain or swelling. Weak vinegar can also be used to help neutralise the sting.
‘Do not apply any other substances (such as urine) to the affected area; these do not work and may make the injury worse.
‘If symptoms persist or worsen, please contact your GP or NHS 111 for advice. If you have difficulty breathing after being stung, you should seek medical attention immediately by calling 999.’
The Met Office said today’s 30C would be followed by 32C on Monday and Tuesday, 34C on Wednesday and 35C possible on Thursday and Friday
Beaches were bursting on the first weekend of the break, with a million visitors in Cornwall, 375,000 at Brighton across Saturday and Sunday, 250,000 in Blackpool, 200,000 in Bournemouth and 200,000 in Great Yarmouth
Jellyfish aren’t the only thing sun-seekers have to look out for during this unprecedented heatwave.
Richard Drinkwater, boss of the UK’s biggest inflatables aqua-fun park, promised refunds today after customers complained about bookings being cancelled because ‘brain damage’ toxins have appeared in the heatwave and people might swallow infected water as they splash about.
Several people claimed today they were out of pocket after Aqua Park Suffolk, which only opened on July 7th near Ipswich, said blue-green algae, which has ‘bloomed’ in the heatwave, had been found carpeting the surface of the reservoir.
He said the company was ‘sorry for the disappointment caused’ and would be contacting all customers booked into the splash park this weekend to inform them of the situation.
Professor Laurence Carvalho, from the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, said blue-green algae has been a particular problem this summer.
He said: ‘Not only has it been very warm but it has also been very dry, which means they have not been flushed out of water courses by rain’ he said.
‘It is posing a particular risk to dogs who appear to be attracted by the smell.
Blue-green algae are microscopic, but clump together in visible colonies up to a few millimetres in size that can rise to the surface and form thin wispy green blooms or thick, paint-like scums.
Anglian Water, which manages the tourist attraction, said it had ‘taken the decision to temporarily close the water sports facilities and the Aqua Park with immediate effect as a precaution’.
Children are at greater risk than adults of developing problems because of their comparative lower body weight.
A statement on Anglian Water’s website said ‘While we know this will be disappointing for people booked into the Aqua Park or expecting to use the water sports facilities, the safety of the visitors is our top priority.
‘We will be testing the water twice daily and will reopen the facilities once algal levels return to normal.’
Shower for just four minutes! Water companies tell customers to cut their use ahead of hosepipe bans
Dramatic images show heavy toll hot weather is having on UK’s water supply with Wayoh Reservoir, Lancashire, totally dried up with just a bed of cracked mud on show
A water company accused of wasting the equivalent of 175 Olympic-sized swimming pools every day is under fire for telling customers to limit their showers to four minutes.
United Utilities (UU) is preparing to impose a hosepipe ban for its three million households in north-west England from August 5.
Water chiefs are telling their customers to spend no more than four minutes showering to help save water amid a heatwave in Britain.
They even issued households with pebble-shaped timers to help them wash within the advised time limit.
But the advice has sparked a fierce backlash from angry customers, one of whom raged on UU’s website: ‘How much water do UU lose through leaks in four minutes?’
The firm has come under fire for the sheer amount of water wasted every day through leaking pipes.
Critics claim that if United Utilities – who paid chief executive Steve Mogford £2.3million in salary and bonuses last year – stopped the leaks then the ban could be avoided.
Earlier this week, MPs and councillors reacted angrily to fresh revelations about Mr Mogford’s lifestyle, branding his ownership of a luxury £2million yacht a ‘particularly galling example’ of excess.
Manchester Central Labour MP Lucy Powell added: ‘Constituents would be appalled to learn that, at a utility company which really should be a public asset, executives are paid so much they can afford to lead this kind of lifestyle.’
Bury North Labour MP James Frith said: ‘His customers would be dismayed to learn he has such a high pay packet through which he can afford to own a yacht.’
The pebble shaped timers (pictured) can help let people know how long they should be washing for. The firm has previously come under fire for the sheer amount of water wasted every day through leaking pipes
Twelve Greater Manchester MPs who have written to United Utilities complaining about the hosepipe ban at a time when the firm wastes so much water from leaks.
Cat Hobbs of We Own It, which campaigns for public ownership of utilities, said: ‘Water belongs to all of us, there’s no reason why we should bankroll lavish lifestyles for Mogford and his shareholders.’
Tim Roache, the GMB union’s general secretary, said: ‘Most people can’t sail off into the sunset on a luxury yacht whenever there’s a water shortage.
‘United Utilities waste more than 175 Olympic-sized swimming pools of water every day – plug the leaks and you won’t need a hosepipe ban.’
Customers who flout the ban could face criminal prosecution and fines of up to £1,000 if they use a hose to water their garden or plants or clean their cars, windows, paths and outdoor surfaces.
The hosepipe ban by the company is the first in England since 2012, when 20 million customers were affected.
Meet Britain’s first ever sniffer dog trained to detect water leaks
The 16-month old cocker spaniel, called Snipe, was a stray rescued in Ireland before he was headhunted to begin his training for the North West water company and sniff out water leaks
United Utilities (UU) is preparing to impose a hosepipe ban for its three million households in north-west England from August 5.
And the company, has turned, to Britain’s first sniffer dog to detect water leaks ahead of the ban.
UU loses 439.2million litres of water every day from leaks and has applied for permission to extract water from three Cumbrian lakes, including Windermere, as its reservoirs continue to run low.
The company has turned to Snipe, a 21-month-old cocker spaniel, which has undergone weeks of special training by ex-military personnel to detect tiny amounts of chlorine found in tap water.
Snipe will be used in rural areas where leaks are hardest to detect.
Owner Ross Stephenson, 32, the MD of Cape SPC, a pest extermination expert firm in Liverpool, has been putting Snipe through his paces since late last year.
He said: ‘All I did was start off with normal tap water, and then putting in extra chlorine levels to make it stronger.
‘So we just put a tiny bit of that in, so the dog understands the strongest odour is the one we want them to find.
‘We would have eight glass pots, one of them will have it in and every time the dog sniffs that pot he will get rewarded – a tennis ball.
‘What I had to do was take the pots outside first and start doing it in different environments and then I would take the pots away and then ended up having normal tap water, pouring it on the ground and getting the dog to search that.
‘So we want the dog to sit and stand and stare where the source is, so try to get the dog to stay there for 30 seconds, a ‘passive indication’.
Snipe the dog, with (left to right) Luke Jones, Ross Stephenson and Hannah Wardle, in Warrington where it is training to detect underground water leaks by smelling chlorine traces.
Mr Stephenson, from Bristol, set up his firm after leaving the military two years ago, where he served with the Royal Veterinary Corps as a Corporal, deploying to war-torn Afghanistan and Iraq.
His business partner Luke Jones, 27, from Bargoed, south Wales, served in the same military unit, using dogs to search for weapons, explosives and IEDs before transferring his skills to teach dogs to sniff out bed bugs – and now detecting water leaks.
Mr Jones added: ‘All the principles are basically exactly the same, it’s just a different setting. And less stress.’
Tap water consists of one part chlorine per million parts water – with a dog’s nose thought to be able to detect one particle of an odour or scent in a billion.
UU responsible for a network of 42,000 kilometres of pipes, fixes around 27,000 leaks a year, with a team of 140 personnel, using high tech drones, camera and sound detection equipment – and now their latest recruit, Snipe.
Hannah Wardle, regional leakage manager at UU, who described Snipe as ‘an invaluable asset’ in helping fix the problem of wasted water, said: ‘The north west of England is a notoriously wet region, and sorting the leaks from the puddles especially out in the fields can be a real challenge.
‘This is where we hope Snipe will really come into his own, as his sensitive nose can detect mains water at incredibly low concentrations.
‘With leakage detection it’s all about building up the evidence using a range of different technologies.
‘We’re trialling the use of satellites and drones to get a bird’s eye view of a particular area, but the devil is in the detail, and pinpointing the exact place to start digging is more difficult than you might think.’
Look up this Friday to spot the blood moon
A rare lunar eclipse will turn the moon a dramatic blood red on Friday.
Those trying to catching a glimpse will be pleased to know it will be the longest total lunar eclipse so far this century.
The moon will rise in the South East and the eclipse will begin at around 8.30pm in the UK, but stargazers will be able to see it properly at 8.50pm.
From 10.13pm onwards it will only be partially visible in the UK.
Lunar eclipses occur when the Earth passes between the sun and the moon. Blood moons happen because the Earth’s atmosphere then filters the sunlight, leaving only warm reddish tones to be cast on to the moon.
Friday’s crimson moon will be visible for around 103 minutes – but it is thought Britons will only see it for 84 minutes as the moon will be below the horizon when the eclipse starts.
Astronomer Tom Kerss, of the Royal Observatory Greenwich, said: ‘You get a true sense of the solar system moving – and that in itself is a really dramatic experience. It is safe to watch with the naked eye. You could use a telescope but, to be frank, it will be just as dramatic to watch it without aids as the red moon slowly rises in the sky over Britain and the shadow of the Earth passes from its surface.’
The best vantage points will be from across eastern Africa, the Middle East, and central Asia.
Lunar eclipses are different to solar eclipses, which happen when the moon passes in front of the sun.
Cumbria’s ‘lost city of Atlantis’ emerges from the deep
It is known as Cumbria’s lost city of Atlantis – because it has been submerged in water for the best part of 83 years.
But thanks to the dry weather, visitors can now catch a glimpse of the sunken Lake District village of Mardale Green.
The village is centuries old but has rarely been seen since the 1930s, when it was abandoned so that Haweswater Reservoir could be built.
As water levels have dropped over the past few weeks, dry stone walls and roads have been revealed. Tourists can now walk across a bridge and among the ruins of farms and homes. Villagers were evicted from their homes in the 1930s and most of the buildings were blown up by Royal Engineers, who used them for demolition practice. Coffins were removed from the graveyard and buried elsewhere.
The area has had one of the driest Julys on record so far, with just 13 per cent of the expected average rainfall, the Met Office said. A spokesman said: ‘It has been exceptionally dry in those areas.
‘The driest July on record was in 1925, but it seems that we are on track to break that record at the end of this month.’
The stone wall remains of Mardale Green village have now been revealed
Meanwhile, it’s 104F in Japan
A severe heatwave in Japan has caused at least 30 deaths and more than 12,000 people to be hospitalised.
Temperatures reached 40.7C (105.2F) in central Japan last week – and the scorching weather shows no signs of easing.
A six-year-old boy died of heatstroke last week. On Saturday, at least 11 people, mostly elderly citizens, died from suspected heatstroke. A record 3,091 ambulances were dispatched in Tokyo that day.
Yesterday’s temperatures exceeded 35C (95F) at 233 points across the nation.
In Tokyo, bathers were spotted packed into a pool at the Toshimaen amusement park, pictured above. The capital has seen recent temperatures peak at 36C (97F).
Visitors jostle each other at a pool in Toshimaen amusement park in Tokyo, Japan