LONDON — The heatwave warning has been raised to “level three” by the Met Office for north-west England.
It said the hottest weather was expected over western England on today, with the east becoming cooler.
Level three warnings are in place for the South West and the West Midlands, but warnings for south-east England and London have been reduced to level two.
The warning alerts healthcare services to help those in high-risk groups such as the elderly and young children.
Level three alerts are triggered when threshold temperatures have been reached for one day and the following night, and the forecast for the next day has a greater than 90 per cent confidence level that the day threshold temperature will again be met.
The threshold temperature for north-west England is 30C (86F).
Eastern areas were expected to see cooler conditions today, with London and south-east England reduced to a level two warning, and the East of England reduced to a level one warning – the minimum state of vigilance.
Level two warnings are also currently in place for the East Midlands and Yorkshire and the Humber. These alerts are triggered by a 60 per cent or higher chance of the threshold temperature again being reached on the second day.
North-east England remains on a level one warning.
Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are not included in the alert system.
The Met Office said it would become less hot for a time over the weekend, but temperatures are expected to increase again early next week with a likelihood of level three being reached again in some areas.
It is the UK’s first prolonged heatwave since 2006, with six consecutive days of temperatures above 30C (86F).
Research by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine has estimated there might have been between 540 and 760 extra deaths in England and 60 to 100 in Wales due to the hot weather. (BBC)